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Chinese government owned mining companies are quickening their extraction of copper, gold and silver in Tibet. These mines are usually based close to rivers. Most workers in Tibetan mines are Chinese and the extraction takes place without regard to the local environment and areas of religious significance.

Tibet is also rich in other resources including lead, zinc, molybdenum, asbestos, uranium, chromium, lithium and much more. Tibet is China's only source of chromium and most of its accessible lithium is in Tibet. These raw materials are used in manufacturing of household goods, computers and smart phones, among much else.

China is the world’s largest producer of copper and the world’s second biggest consumer of gold. The World Gold Council predicts that the consumption in China will double within a decade. Tibet's reserves of copper and gold are worth nearly one trillion dollars.