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China Discovers Salt Mines in Qaidam Basin

A joint China-Germany research team has discovered abundant underground minerals in west China's Qaidam Basin, a salt mine and saturated brine deposit.

The chief scientist Fang Xiaomin on the Chinese side said that the team has drilled 320 meters under the ground to discover 100 layers of halite ore with an average thickness of 0.6 to 0.7 meters and some up to 3 meters. The team found saturated brine deposit at 203 meters to 206 meters underground.

Now the research team is analyzing the elements, types and quality of the salt layers and brine deposit.

The chief scientist said that the reserve is huge with kalium, boron, lithium, iodine and magnesium deposits, which will bring economic profits.

Researchers from Tuebingen University of Germany, Stanford University of the United States and Lanzhou University make up the team, which is expected to drill holes as deep as 1,000 to 1,100 meters in the western Qaidam basin. Now they have decided to drill up to 1,200 meters.

Qaidam Basin is one of the most impotent oil and gas bearing basins in northwest China. It has the largest reserve of kalium, sodium, magnesium, lithium, strontium and Glauber's salt in China.

Most of the mineral reserves are distributed in the eastern basin, and now the discovery enlarges the mineral exploration to a larger area of the basin and much deeper under the ground.

( July 8, 2008)

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