A reserve of 203 million tonnes of manganese ore, the largest in Asia, has been discovered in southwest China's Guizhou Province, local authorities said Saturday.
Pujue manganese ore lies in the mountains of Songtao Miao Autonomous County in Tongren City and was discovered by Guizhou provincial geology and mineral exploration bureau, the county government said in a press release.
It said the ore had a potential value of more than 100 billion yuan (14.5 billion U.S. dollars). China is the world's largest producer and consumer of manganese, which is used widely in making batteries and magnetic new materials.
In recent years, scientists have discovered four large manganese ore deposits in Guizhou Province with combined reserves of 600 million tonnes, said Chen Yuchuan, a noted geologist and academician with the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
"The newly discovered ore deposits make up 60 percent of China's total proven reserves and will greatly reduce the country's reliance on imports," he said.