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Golmud
Golmud, sometimes spelled Geˇ®ermu or Geermu is a county-level city of Haixi Mongol and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai Province, China. It is the second largest city in Qinghai and the third largest in the Tibetan Plateau (after Xining and Lhasa).

Geography

Golmud covers a total area of 124,500 km? This includes an urban area of 72 km? Golmud is located in the central-south part of the Qaidam Basin with an elevation of 2,8029 meters (9216 feet). Around the city are more than 20 salt lakes, big and small.

Demographics

As of 1999, the population of the total area of Golmud is approximately 200,000, the town has 130,000 inhabitants with ethnic Han Chinese comprising 90.2%.

Economy

Due to its location, Golmud abounds with natural resources from nearby salt lakes. Thus, industries involving salt lake chemicals have sprung up. Qarham Salt Lake to the northeast of Golmud proper boasts an area of 5,856 km? making it the biggest inland salt lake in the world. Qarham Salt Lake resources are estimated to be worth over 15 trillion yuan. The lake is also Chinaˇ®s largest production base for potassium, magnesium, and salt. Golmud also possesses natural gas reserves of 1 trillion m?plus over 50 varieties of minerals like gold, copper, jade and precious stones, lead, and zinc. Other important industries in Golmud include petrochemicals, oil refineries, and gas fields. Statistics for 2001 show that the cityˇ®s nominal GDP totalled 2.213 billion yuan, a rise of 31.9% from the previous year and the highest growth rate since 1990. The Golmud Kunlun Economic Development Zone, which consists of an area of 28 km? was built in 1992. Golmud is planned to become "Chinaˇ®s Salt Lake City".

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