``The most recent development is a 7-kilometer deep borehole drilled by Chinese resource exploration teams. The exact location of the borehole, the deepest ever drilled at such a high altitude, as well as the companies involved in the exploration are being kept secret. The Plateau is estimated to contain 30-40 million tons of copper, 40 million tons of lead and zinc, and billions of tons of high-grade iron ore--it is also estimated that the Plateau's Qiangtang Basin contains upwards of 70 billion barrels of oil, potentially making it the largest such reserve on the planet.  If these estimates are even remotely accurate, the rewards for Beijing will be enormous.''

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