Bayan Obo mining district

Updated: 2015-10-27

Bayan Obo is a mining district abundant in mineral resources. Roughly translated from Mongolian, Bayan Obo means “a rich mountain.”

Bayan Obo mining district
Xitu Street in Bayan Obo mining district  [Photo provided to]
Bayan Obo mining district
Sculpture of Ding Daoheng in Bayan Obo mining district  [Photo provided to]

Ding Daoheng, a geologist, discovered that the area was rich in minerals after undertaking a scientific expedition to the Inner Mongolia autonomous region in 1927.

The district is one of the richest precious mineral deposits in the world. It contains many metals, including iron, rare earth metals and niobium. More than 71 chemical elements and 175 minerals have been exploited in the district.

A total of 100 million tons of rare earth have been found there, accounting for 41 percent of the world’s total. The district is known as "the world's largest rare-earth mine.”

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