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China to launch deep earth exploration plan

(People's Daily Online)    15:06, September 06, 2016

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China has announced plans to launch a deep earth exploration plan, which, in addition to deep earth exploration, also includes deep sea exploration and space-borne earth observation. The plan was outlined in a report entitled "Development Planning of Territorial Resources for Scientific Innovation During the 13th Five-Year Plan," issued recently by the Ministry of Land and Resources.

"Just 2 percent of the resources from between 3 and 10 kilometers beneath Chinese territory could be enough for us to use for over 5,000 years," said Dong Shuwen, former deputy director of the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, at the National Land and Resources Scientific Innovation Conference on Sept. 5. 

In the next five years, China will conduct surveys of urban underground space utilization, underground water-bearing and more in order to evaluate the potential resources and prospects of Chinese cities' underground territory. 

The effective utilization of underground space has been going on for many years already in some developed countries. Singapore and Japan utilize space up to 200 meters below ground. However, China's current average utilization is less than 50 meters; this means that in most cities, there are at least 150 meters of space yet to be exploited. 

"In many countries, the utilization of underground spaces is diversified, spanning culture, communication, transportation and ecology," said Dong.

By 2020, China's strategic exploration targets include mining ability at 2 kilometers underground, the technology to conduct mineral resources prospecting at 3 kilometers underground, advanced technology to explore resources at 5 kilometers underground and the improvement of oil and gas exploration at between 6.5 and 10 kilometers underground. Meanwhile, the prospecting depth for oil and gas exploration will reach 10 kilometers underground, and new energies such as terrestrial heat will be exploited. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor: Kong Defang,Bianji)

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