Source: Indian express

Schaffhausen: 29 June, 2012    A multi-metal mine in resource-rich Tibet has been found to have the potential to be one of the world’s 50 biggest mines of its kind that could generate an annual product value of USD 712 million from 2015.

The mine located in the birthplace of Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo about 68 kms from provincial capital Lhasa may become the country’s biggest copper town in 10 years, Jiang Liangyou an official of Tibet Huatailong Mining Development said.

The mine is likely to dethrone Dexing in east China’s Jiangxi as China’s biggest copper producer and it could produce metals to the annual value of 4.5 billion yuan (about USD 712 million) by the end of 2015, he said.

The projections were based upon the initial prospecting finished by Huatailong in 2010 within a land area of nine sq kms, Jiang said.

“The prospecting results are subject to independent third-party verification overseas,” he said.

“If verified, it would propel the mine into its second-phase expansion,” state run Xinhua quoted him as saying.

Last year Chinese geologists discovered 102 types of mineral deposits in over 3000 mine beds with an estimated value of about 600 billion Yuan, (USD 100 billion) in Tibet.

The Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) will step up the exploration of copper, lead, zinc, chromium and gold in its central areas, including the regional capital city of Lhasa and Shannan Prefecture, to form a major mineral base for non-ferrous metals and chromes, official media reported last year.

About the Medrogungkar county mine, a feasibility report China Gold International Resources Corp Ltd said the daily processing capacity could be increased from current 6,000 tonnes of ore to 40,000 tonnes by 2015 for 70 years.

The mining in the ecologically sensitive Himalayan region however raised environmental concerns. People have traditionally associated mineral exploitation with pollution and environmental degradation.