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Natural resources

Updated: 2013-10-17

Minerals

The province is rich in minerals with a great variety spreading across a wide area. It has 120 known minerals, 62 with proven reserves; 34 of these ranking among the top 10 in the country by reserves. It ranks first in the country in coal, coal bed methane, bauxite, coal clay, laterite, and potassium reserves and has the second largest rutile, pearlite, gallium, vermiculite and glass-oriented limestone reserves. The province has been called the “home of coal”, because of its 260 billion tons of proven reserves, or a third of the country’s total. Its coal varies but is of good quality and its coal fields are found in Datong, Ningwu, Xishan, Huoxi, Hedong and Qinshui.

Water

Shanxi’s has 12.38 billion cubic meters of water, 8.6 billion c m of that in groundwater, and 3.58 billion cu m in exploitable resources. The Fenhe River is its largest river, stretching for 695 kilometers, and it has 700 reservoirs, which can hold 4.5 billion cubic meters of water in all.

Land

There are 2.63 million hectares of land for exploitation, 300,000 hectares of that for farmlands, 972,000 for wooded areas, and 1.36 million for animal husbandry.

Wildlife

Shanxi has 439 known land animals, 71 varieties considered wild animals under national protection. The brown-eared pheasant, the provincial bird, is a well-known valued species.

Plants

There are 182 plant species in the province, with 2,700 varieties, 13 of them such as the Chinese yew and Henry Wilson tree, under national protection.

Tourism

Along with its long history and rich cultural heritage, Shanxi's landscape also gives visitors a lot to see with its great variety. Its unique landscape provides some spectacular natural sights.

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