The government of the Qinghai province in northwest China is planning to invest about CNY18bn ($2.81bn) to explore its mineral resources over the next five years.

The investment will be utilised for the exploration of coal, iron, gold, potassium salt, copper, lead, zinc and cobalt in the province, reports Xinhua.

Qinghai province’s Land and Resources Department said mining firms will provide about CNY10bn ($1.5bn) of the total investment.

The central treasury will provide about CNY5bn ($782m) and the remaining CNY2.5bn ($391m) will be received from the provincial treasury.

Over the past five years, the province has discovered new iron ore, silver, gold and coal reserves, which have potential for further exploration.