Shanxi has mineral reserves featuring extensive distribution, great variety and abundant quantity. At present, 120 types have been discovered and 62 types have been proven reserves, among which 34 types rank in the top ten of the nation. Reserves of coal, coal bed methane, bauxite, refractory clay, potassic rock and gallium rank first in China. The proved reserve of coal amounts to 260 billion tons, covering 1/3 of the whole country’s reserve. Hence Shanxi has been known as the Hometown of Coal. With the features of full types and good quality, coal reserve is extensively distributed in Datong, Ningwu, Western Mountain, Huoxi, Hedong and Qinshui coalfields.
The gross annual water resources amount to about 9.83 billion cubic meters including about 8.60 billion cubic meters of underground water reserves and about 3.58 billion cubic meters of exploitable water resources. The Fen River, the longest river in Shanxi, measures 695 kilometers in full length. More than 700 reservoirs have been built in the province with total capacity up to 405 billion cubic meters.
There are 2.629 million hectare of land available for development, among which 300,000 hectare are suitable for farming, 972,000 hectare for forestry and 1,357 million hectare for pasture.
Wild Animal Resources
There are 439 species of terrestrial vertebrates discovered in Shanxi, 71 of which belong to national key protection wild animals. Brown eared pheasant, the provincial bird, is a world famous rarity.
There are 182 families of altitude plants, covering more than 2,700 species and including 13 kinds of national protected plants such as Taxus chinensis and Sinowilsonia.