SHANGHAI China has discovered a reserve believed to contain 203 million tonnes of manganese ore which local authorities said was the largest in Asia, state news agency Xinhua reported on Saturday.
The reserve in China's southwest Guizhou was discovered by the province's geology and mineral exploration bureau, Xinhua said citing the local government.
The reserve has a potential value of more than 100 billion yuan (12 billion pounds), it said.
Manganese is used in steel production and for making batteries.
"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," Chen Yuchuan, a geologist and academic at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, told Xinhua.
(Reporting by Brenda Goh; editing by Jason Neely)