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Natural Resources

【Water resources】

Shaanxi stretches across basins of the Yellow River and Yangtze River bounded by Qinling Mountains; on northern side of the boundary is water system of the Yellow River and on southern side is that of the Yangtze River, including Wei River, Jing River, Luo River and Wuding River as well as Han River, Dan River and Jialing River. Drainage area of the Yangtze River system covers 35% and that of the Yellow River system takes up 65% of provincial area. 

Gross volume of water resources of Shaanxi is 46.8 billion cubic meters per year, where surface water contributes 29.7468 trillion cubic meters per year and groundwater contributes 17.1 billion cubic meters per year. Per capita volume of water resources is 1290 cubic meters per year, 46% of the national average. 

【Land resources】

Total area of land under cultivation is 4.154 hectares, horticultural area 681,000 hectares, forest land area 10.203 million hectares, grassland area 3.134 million hectares, other agricultural land area 303,000 hectares and area of unused land is 1.308 million hectares. 

Topographically, land in Shaanxi consists of 7.41 million hectares of mountainous region occupying 36.0% of total area, 9.26 million hectares of plateau occupying 45.0% of total area, and 3.91 million hectares of plains occupying 19.0% of total area.

【Plant resources】

Shaanxi contains abundant plant resources. Qinba highland converges diverse plants usually found in the north and south and is hence called “Biological Gene Bank” that collects more than 3300 species of wild plants, of which, 37 species belong to rare plants under state protection and 1299 species of medicinal plants are included in Chinese Pharmacopeia. Typically, reputed traditional products in Qinling Mountains are Kiwi fruit, selenium-rich tea, Chinese chestnut, walnut and Chinese wood oil. 

There are varieties of crops in Shaanxi. Wheat, cotton, rape, vegetables and fruits are largely planted in northern central section; loess plateau on northern side of Wei River is internationally recognized as prepotent zone of apple and is endowed with favorable conditions for planting pear, jujube, grape, kiwi fruit, persimmon, pomegranate, peach, apricot and Chinese date, of which, yield of apple and kiwi fruits ranks first in China; rice, tea, tobacco, Chinese chestnut, mandarin orange and Chinese medicinal crops are produced mainly in southern section. 

【Animal resources】

    In Shaanxi, there are varieties of wild, terrestrial, vertebrate, rare animals, including more than 604 species of wild animals, 380 species of birds and 147 species of mammalians, counting for 30% of animal population in China, 77 species of amphibious reptiles, counting for 13% of national population in this respect. Among them, there 69 species of rare animals, of which, 12 species such as panda, golden monkey, takins and crested ibis are listed under first-grade state protection. Some animals of quality breeds in poultry and livestock are also well known, including Qinchuan cattle, Guanzhong donkey, Xizhen cattle and Jiami donkey. 

【Mineral resources】

There are 138 kinds of mineral products detected in Shaanxi; 93 minerals are proven in reserves, with a retained potential value of RMB42.56 trillion, taking up about 1/3 of national reserves and ranking first in China. High-quality coal, petroleum, natural gas, cement limestone, clay and salts are mainly found in northern Shaanxi and on north of Wei River; coal, molybdenum, gold, non-metal building materials, geothermal water and mineral water are mainly found in central Shaanxi plain; non-ferrous metals, noble metals, ferrous metals and non-metal minerals are found in Qinling and Bashan mountains in southern Shaanxi. 

Among major 45 minerals in China, top minerals nationwide in Shaanxi are: salt mine and cement limestone (first place); natural gas and kaolin (second place); coal, vanadium, molybdenum, mercury, rare earth mine, asbestos and quartzite used in glass (third place); titanium, cryptocrystalline graphite (fourth place); barite (fifth place); petroleum, antimony and phosphor (seventh place); nickel and lead (eighth place); gold and manganese (ninth place); and chromium (tenth place).

Coals in Shaanxi, characterized by large reserve, complete types of coal, high quality and easy mining, are rare high-grade thermal coals and gasified coals in the world and cover an area of more than 50,000 square kilometers. Retained reserve of coals in Shaanxi is 165.964 billion tons, ranking third in China. Source of natural gas extending 50,000km2 in central section of Shanxi-Gansu-Ningxia basin is currently the largest integral gas field on land in China. Northern Shaanxi is also the first site where petroleum was discovered in China. 

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