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Golmud City

Golmud, sometimes spelled Ge'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 km². This includes an urban area of 72 km². Golmud is located in the central-south part of the Qaidam Basin with an elevation of 2,809 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 km², 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 China's largest production base for potassium, magnesium, and salt. Golmud also possesses natural gas reserves of 1 trillion m³ 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 city'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 km², was built in 1992. Golmud is planned to become "China's Salt Lake City"

Transport
-Railway
Golmud lies along the Qingzang railway(Qinghai-Tibet Railway), a 1956 km railroad that starts from Xining and ends at Lhasa. The Golmud-Lhasa section of 1,142 km was the last and most challenging part of the Qingzang railway to be completed. After construction of 5 years, the first train for Lhasa left Golmud on July 1, 2006.

-Highways
The Golmud-Lhasa highway, extending 1,050 km, is part of the 1,930-km Qinghai-Tibet highway connecting Xining and Lhasa.
China National Highway 215

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