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Walking deep in the hinterland of Nanling (Southern Mountains), one may surprise at its tranquility and beauty. Who will expect to discover a "museum of worldwide non-ferrous metals" in such a place surrounded by green hills?

Nanling (Southern Mountains) is situated at the juncture as follows--Hunan Province, Jiangxi Province , Guangdong Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, parallel to 24°00′~26°30′ north latitude and 110°~116° east longitude. Nanling (Southern Mountains), in its narrow sense, includes Yuecheng Range, Dupan Range, Mengdu Range, Qitian Range and Dayu Range. Hence it is also named Five Ranges. Broadly speaking, it also includes Miao'er Mountain, Haiyang Mountain, Jiuyi Mountain, Xianghua Range, Yaoshan Mountain, Jiulian Mountain, etc.

Today, China is the supplier of 80% to 90% of the total amount of tungsten consumed in the world, and the production of tungsten in Hunan Province ranks the first across the whole nation.

The largest production center of tungsten in Hunan Province is Shizhuyuan in Suxian District of Chenzhou City, which is surrounded by verdant hills and clear waters. A mine park is being planned to open to the public there. In some other places such as Xikuangshan (Mountain of Tin Minerals), reputed as the capital of stibium, rich cultures have been cultivated in the course of history.

In this issue and the next one, Hunan Geography will feature reports on non-ferrous metals in Hunan.

  • 143 minerals have been discovered in this region, which is first known to be rich in tin and sulfurous iron ore. Later on, a large quantity of tungsten deposits were detected there.

    The largest site of tungsten ore in Hunan Province is in Shizhuyuan in Suxian District of Chenzhou City.

    The polymetallic deposit consisting of tungsten, tin, molybdenum and bismtuh in Shizhuyuan is a rare large-scale one in the world.

    Tungsten is one of the non-ferrous metals abundant in Hunan Province.

    The middle section of Nanling (Southern Mountains) mineral deposit has been acclaimed as the home of non-ferrous metals, with tungsten ore, tin ore and rare earth metals distributed there.
  • To most people, the knowledge of tungsten originated from glittering tungsten lamps.

    Many people believe that Edison was the first person to apply tungsten filament to bulbs. As a matter of fact, it was Alexander and Franz who first utilized filament in tungsten in 1904. The tungsten-filament bulbs which replaced bamboo filament bulbs invented by Edison can be used for 1200 hours on end. The light given off by the former is three times as strong as that by the latter.
  • The earliest record of stibium production in Hunan Province can be found in the Section of Geography of the Book of Han Dynasty. China, as one of the countries that discovered and made use of stibium at a comparatively early time, has already began to mix it in copper to make copper coin since Han Dynasty.

  • In the late Ming Dynasty, stibium in large quantities was discovered in Xikuangshan, Lengshuijiang City, under the jurisdiction of Loudi City. It was once wrongly exploited as tin until it was decided that tin can't be refined from the stones. However, as the story went around, all believed it was tin. That's how Xikuangshan (Mountain of Tin Minerals) got its name.
  • Photos taken by Zhouzhigang
  • Tanslated by Zhangzhiqing
  • Chinese script edited by Zangjie
  • Designed by Liumin Miaolin
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