Massive coal field discovered in China's Xinjiang

URUMQI, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- A massive coal field with 11.6 billion tonnes of coal has been discovered in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, local authorities said Wednesday, providing a fresh supply for the country's energy strategies.

Located in the southern part of the Sandaoling Mining Area, Hami Prefecture, the coal field boasts high-quality steam and civil coals, according to Xinjiang's coalfield geology bureau. Extraction work began last year within an area of 913.22 square km, the bureau said.

Hami Prefecture is one of the five major coal bases in Xinjiang, with an estimated reserve exceeding 570 billion tonnes. In recent years, a dozens of state-owned energy enterprises have moved to tap the coal resources there, steering coal power and increasing Hami's strategic status in China's energy industry.

Beginning in 2012, the local government stepped up development in seven coal mining areas in the prefecture, expecting its coal production capacity to top 150 million tonnes by 2015.

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