The region has a major mining district with a large number of new minerals. Since 1958, China has discovered more than 50 types of new minerals.
The region has a major mining district with a large number of new minerals. Since 1958, China has discovered more than 50 types of new minerals, 10 of which are found in the region, such as bafertisitel, baotite, and huanghoite. The rare earth mine near the regional capital, Baotou, is the largest in the world.
China has discovered 172 minerals in all, 143 of which exist in the region and the reserves of 12 of them are at the top in China, while 30 are among the top three by volume. Its rare earth reserves are the world's largest, and it has an estimated 808 billion tons of coal, 377 billion proven. Total mineral resources total 431.53 billion tons, China's greatest amount.
Its natural gas reserves amount to 1.67 trillion cu m and proven oil reserves, 614 million tons, while precious metals include 551.4 tons of gold and 34,100 tons of silver. Three non-ferrous metals – copper, lead and zinc – total 40.39 million tons.
Inner Mongolia has the most opencast coal mines in the world and four of China's five largest are in the region, at Yimin, Huolinhe, Yuanbaoshan, and Dzungaria.
Its raw coal production reached 1.06 billion tons, an increase of 11,600 tons from the previous year, a 12.3-percent year-on-year increase. The western part of Inner Mongolia produced 723 million tons, 639 million of that from the city of Erdos and the eastern part, 339 million tons, with local companies accounting for 642 million tons, and State run companies, 420 million tons.
Coal imports for 2012 was up 2.28 million tons, to 22.98 million, or 8 percent of the country's total. It also sold 1.07 billion tons of commercial coal, in 2012, with 660 million tons of that going outside the region, or 61.8 percent. The average price of commercial coal in the eastern part was 150 yuan ($24.5), and in the west, 250 yuan.
Total profits from coal and coal washing and dressing reached 83.98 billion yuan, for a year-on-year increase of 4.9 percent, and accounting for 47.9 percent of total industrial profits.