Huge coal deposit found in NE China

Updated: 2010-07-30 20:56
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SHENYANG - China's Liaoning Province has discovered a coal deposit of at least 1 billion tonnes, one of the largest found in the resources-rich northeast China, the Northeast Coalfield Geological Bureau said Friday.

The preliminary probe estimated the coal deposit, stretching over 400 square kilometers underground in Liaoning's northern prefecture of Changtu, to contain over 1 billion tonnes of coal, according to Wang Shenghui, chief engineer of the No. 101 Prospecting Team that discovered the deposit.

Of the reserve 70 percent is long flame coal, and the other 30 percent is gas coal, both categorized as high-quality coal, said Wang.

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Up to 10 billion cubic meters of coalbed methane, a form of natural gas, has also been found stored in the coal seams.

The actual volume is likely to increase as the prospecting work goes on, said Huang Gui, head of the prospecting team.

The discovery of the gigantic deposit was welcome news for the industrial Liaoning Province, whose coal consumption has long surpassed supply.

Liaoning is expected to consume 160 million tonnes of coal this year, of which 100 million will need to be imported or purchased from other Chinese provinces, said Lu Guojin, deputy head of the provincial coal industry administration.