Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2014, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (6): 1131-1146.doi: 10.1007/s11442-014-1143-x

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Exploitation of mineral resource and its influence on regional development and urban evolution in Xinjiang, China

Wen DONG1(), Yu YANG2,*()   

  1. 1. Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, CAS, Urumqi 830011, China
    2. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2014-04-24 Accepted:2014-05-20 Online:2014-06-20 Published:2014-06-20
  • About author:

    Author: Dong Wen (1976-), Associate Professor, specialized in economic geography and urban geography. E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41371141.No.41401132.No.41430636


The aim of this paper is to analyze the relationship between mineral resources exploitation and economic and urban development in Xinjiang. The article summarizes the mineral resource exploitation development of Xinjiang especially over the last 50 years, and investigates energy industries and their driving forces, directions, and economic impact on the oasis urban system evolution in Xinjiang. Methods like correlation analysis, location quotient and elastic coefficient are employed in the presentation and discussion, and also field reconnaissance surveys, interviews and secondary sources are used. The result shows Xinjiang’s economic growth is promoted by the contributions of the increasing mineral resource industry which promotes economic development by accelerating infrastructure construction, developing industry and raising revenue and fixed investment. Mineral exploitation in recent years had profound impacts on urban development as a growth engine. The evolution of urban system has a close relationship with resource exploitation, and statistical results provide strong evidence to support the argument that mineral resource exploitation has promoted the growth of built-up areas and its expansion patterns in Xinjiang, especially regions along the northern slope of the Tianshan Mountains.

Key words: exploitation of mineral resource, oasis city development, Xinjiang