A large field containing rich deposits of rare molybdenum has been found in the county of Ruyang in central China's Henan Province, local government officials said on Monday.
Molybdenum is a hard, silvery mineral chiefly used in toughening alloy steels and softening tungsten alloys.
The proven reserves are estimated at more than 700,000 tons, making the field one of the six largest molybdenum mines in the country, said Meng Zhonghuai, head of the Henan No. 2 Provincial Geological Survey Center.
The discovery, which has been regarded as a breakthrough for China's molybdenum exploitation over the past two decades, was approved by the Ministry of Land and Resources and the mine is expected to be exploited soon, said Meng.
The field, which also contains more than 13 million tons of magnetite, is also expected to inject new energy into the economic development of Ruyang, said Meng.