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World’s Biggest Iron Deposit Lures China to Develop Pristine Mountain

More than $1 trillion worth of iron ore is buried in the Simandou mountains of Guinea — enough to forge steel for 100,000 Empire State Buildings. Put another way, that could build all of China’s airports, skyscrapers, cargo ships, and weapons for seven years.

A consortium of China-connected companies are mining the remote mountain range, part of the country’s bid to develop new streams of natural resources. It’s an effort also designed to reduce dependence on Australia, a reliance President Xi Jinping has called a “strategic weakness.”