The geography of Hong Kong primarily consists of three main territories: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula, and the New Territories.
The name "Hong Kong", literally meaning "fragrant harbour", is derived from the area around present-day Aberdeen on Hong Kong Island, where fragrant wood products and fragrant incense were once traded. The narrow body of water separating Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula, Victoria Harbour, is one of the deepest natural maritime ports in the world. Hong Kong and its 260 territorial islands and peninsulas are located in the South China Sea, at the mouth of Pearl River Delta.
The Kowloon Peninsula to the south of Boundary Street and the New Territories to the north of Hong Kong Island were added to Colonial Hong Kong in 1860 and 1898 respectively. The body of water between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula is Victoria Harbour, one of the deepest maritime ports in the world. The landscape of Hong Kong is fairly hilly to mountainous with steep slopes. The highest point in the territory is Tai Mo Shan, at a height of 958 metres. Lowlands exist in the northwestern part of the New Territories.
Hong Kong is 60 km east of Macau on the opposite side of the Pearl River estuary. It has a land border with Shenzhen to the north. The remaining land is reserved as country parks and nature reserves.
Victoria Peak, the highest point on Hong Kong Island, at 552 m is the 24th highest peak in Hong Kong.
The natural resources of Hong Kong can be divided into three main categories:
- Metalliferous minerals and non-metalliferous industrial minerals in the onshore area;
- Quarried rock and building stone;
- Offshore sand deposits.
Despite its small size, Hong Kong has a relatively large number of mineral occurrences. Some mineral deposits have been exploited commercially. Metalliferous mineral occurrences are grouped into four broad categories: tin-tungsten-molybdenum mineralisation, copper-lead-zinc mineralisation, ironmineralisation and placer deposits of tin and gold. Mesozoic igneous activity is largely responsible for this diversity of mineral deposits and the mineral concentrations have been variably enhanced by hydrothermal activity associated with faulting. Concentrations of non-metalliferous minerals that have been commercially exploited include kaolin clay, feldspar, quartz, beryl and graphite.
For many years, granite and volcanic rocks have been quarried locally for road base metal, riprap, armour stone and asphalt, although the main purpose now is for concrete aggregates. At present, there are three quarries operating in Hong Kong. These are principally in granite and are located at Lam Tei, Shek O and Anderson Road. All the quarries are in the process of rehabilitation and have a life expectancy of between two to eight years.
Offshore sand bodies have been dredged for aggregate sand and reclamation fill in Hong Kong as the rate of urban development has increased.
Additional natural resources include forest and wildlife..