Siberian natural resources

Siberian natural resources

Siberian natural resources refers to resources which are located in the North Asian Mainland Russian Siberia. This region is rich in resources which include coal, oil and metal ores.

Energy sources


There were important coal producing fields in Chelyabinsk, where production rose from 390,000 tonnes in 1925 to 3,519,000 tonnes in 1936. The total production for the East Urals was 8,080,000 tonnes in 1937. Reserves for the following coalfields are shown in millions of tonnes:

Tom Rules

Kuznets Coal Zone

The development of the coal fields of Kuznets, (sometimes called the "Kuzbass") transformed the Siberian steppe. The south sector of the Trans-Siberian Railway became a great industrial center as a result of the activity surrounding the coalfields. These ancient reserves of 13,000,000,000 tonnes grew to 450,658,000,000 tonnes. In 1937, the 50 mines in this area produced a total of 17,300,000 tonnes. The coal production of this zone was comparable with that of all of British India, and half the coal produced by Japan. The Kuznets coal had a high energy content and low sulphur content, making it the best coal in the USSR. The total anthracite reserve was 54 million tonnes; it was used in the Metallurgical Combine of Ural-Kuznets.

Years Millions of Tonnes Percentage
1913 0.799 3%
1928 2.743 8%
1932 7.544 12%
1934 11.974 13%
1936 17.3 14%
1937 20.0 ?

Other coal deposits

Another important reserve is that of Karaganda near Magnitogorsk (Magnet City) Higt Ovens. Its production in 1937 was 3,937,200 tonnes. There are other important deposits of coal in Minusinsk, near Chernogorsk, which joins the mining zone of Chulym-Yenisei at the Yenisei river; north of Krasnoyarsk are the Kansk deposits; the Irkutsk deposits, which yielded 3,000,000 tonnes from the Cheremkovo mine in 1937; the Lake Baikal deposits; the Lena sector; the Norilsk sector in Tunguska mining zone; the Sangar Khai founts in the Amur River and Bureya Rivers near Vladivostok, the Artem and Suchan mines with 1937 production of 2,110,000 tonnes and 590,000 tonnes respectively; and the Sakhalin coal deposits and founts in Pamir and Tian Shan mountains in central Asia.

In the Minusinsk area, the estimated reserves are 20,612,000,000 tonnes; the Chulym-Yenisei mine is estimated at 43,000,000,000 tonnes; the Kansk sources estimated at 42,000,000,000 tonnes; and Cheremkhovo estimated at 79,000,000,000 tonnes. The Kuznets area has excellent coal for coke, chemical and gas production. The production stay in 1913 was 774,000 tonnes. In 1927, these mines extracted about 2,600,000 tonnes for maintain one extraction of 16,800,000 tonnes. The modernized Prokopyevsk mine has an expected production capacity of about 3,200,000 tonnes. The other sources are in Stalinsk (Kuznets), Lenin-Kuznets, Kemerovo, Anzhero-Sudzhensk, Chernogorsk, and Cheremkhovo.


The Siberian petroleum sources follow (in metric tonnes - 1 metric tonne of petroleum is equivalent to 5 or 10 barrels, or 42 gallons, depending on the density)

  • Emba: 1,190,400,000
  • Perm-Kama: 3,54,000,000
  • Other Zones at West Urals and Volga: 471,500,000
  • Sakhalin: 339,800,000
  • Central Asia: 427,100,000

Table of Total production (for 45 oil well areas)

  • 1901: 11,000,000
  • 1913: 7,627,000
  • 1920: 2,915,000
  • 1928: 11,625,400
  • 1932: 21,413,200
  • 1936: 27,337,700

The most important Siberian petroleum zones are the Central Urals, Sakhalin Island, Nordvyl, on the Arctic Siberian coast and the Kamchatka peninsula. From the Caspian Sea there is one oil pipeline, which continues to the petrol camps of Emba at Orsk and ends in Omsk, in western Siberia. Sakhalin Island's are the most important oil reserves in the Russian Far East. In 1936, the Ohka oil wells extracted about 470,000 tonnes; one-third were obtained for Japanese concessionaires. In the Emba River area about 466,000 tonnes were extracted from about 20 pits of a total of 300 yaciments in 1937.

The total USSR oil production was 230,700,000 tonnes and there exist other reserves of 652,000,000 tonnes.

Electrical power generation

The third source of energy is electricity. There has been investigation into the Pamir Tien-Shan and East Siberian sources. The total count of these energy producing and disposes in 50% of time raised in about 280.690 gigawatts (GW), between of theirs based in one disposition of 95% stay 58 GW.

To increase power, the Soviets studied the Lena, Yenisei and Ob river systems. In the Lenin Program in 1920, if important the construction of coordinated electric powerplant chains in Urals, Yenisei, Angara River and Lake Baikal. Some of these projects are similar at Grand Coulee Dam in the Columbia River.

A major hydroelectric powerplant was constructed in 1932 on the Dnieper River where it ran at a high elevation in Zaporozhe. When it was destroyed in 1941 for Soviet forces in retreating in World War II, the powerplant had a production capacity of 900 MW. It was about 2,500 feet long and rose 125 feet above water level. In 1940 the total production capacity was 2.5 GW. The new plan proposed was on a gigantic scale, in Angara river if planned the construction of a powerplant with production of 9 GW, and four other powerplants in high Yenisei produced in the future about 4 GW more.

Iron deposits

Iron sources were more assorted and varied. In Siberia they are found in Magnitogorsk, Nizhni Tagil, deposits in the south of Kuznetsk, the Angara River reserves and Russian Far East mines.

The mines of the Urals were known from 1702: Magnitogorsk with annual extraction of 6,000,000 tonnes in 1931, minerals being magnetite and secondarily martite, with 55% or 66% of iron content. The other and oldest center was in Ninshi-Tagil. The total Ural iron reserves were 1,390,670,000 tonnes, of which one-third are limonite and about 450,000,000 correspond directly at Magnitogorsk. When the deposits in Kuznets began to be exploited, in 1930 recent discovered the Mountainous Shoria iron deposits, with reserves calculated as 292,412,000 tonnes, 45% iron content, and the Karaganda deposits. The other important founts stay in Petrovsk-Zabaikal near Baikal Lake, and the Little Khingan Mountains in the Soviet side of the frontier.

Other iron sources exist in East Siberia, e.g., Angara and Ilim river areas northwest of Baikal Lake with production of 420,850,000 tonnes. The 30% of USSR iron production are obtain in Kuznets zone in 1937.

Iron deposits:

  • Urals: sources of these mineral exist in Nizhni-Tagil, Zlatoust and Magnitogorsk, with a total production of 2,600,000 tonnes in 1937.
  • Gornaya Shoria: exist iron, in Magnetite form, inside of Calize mineral why poses one 45% of iron content, but more Sulphur.
  • Ridder: if extracted iron mixed with lead and zinc. Your total production in 1936 are about 1,000 tonnes. At the same time in the same mine extracted gold, copper and tin.

Other minerals

  • Manganese: mined in the Urals, Kazakhastan and west of Krasnoyarsk. Their extractions effectuated in Achinsk Mine with one mineral with 20 or 25% of purity. The total production in 1937 was about 100,000 tonnes.
  • Copper: possess ample reserves in Urals and Kazakhastan. Its total production in 1930 was 34,105 tonnes, increasing in 1936 to 83,000 tonnes. In East Kazakhastan exist the Yaciment of Kounrad, their minerals are composed of less than 2% copper, and these extraction are uneconomic. And the mine of Djezkazgan with double production why mentioned mine above.
  • Pyrite: the founts of these mineral stay in diverse sites, such as Krasnouralsk and Orsk.
  • Lead and zinc: the sources stay in the Siberian areas of Ridder Mine in Altai, Transbaikalia and Maritime Province. The total production of lead and zinc in 1936 were 55,000 and 63,000 tonnes respectively.
  • Aluminum: the sources of these material stay in North Urals, in Khabakovsk ancient, Nadezhdinsk, and south Urals in Kamensk. The USSR has a total production of aluminum in 1939 of 60,000 tonnes.
  • Nickel: their most important deposits are in Norilsk, near low Yenisei. The local production was 3,000 tonnes in 1938.
  • Gold: these if most abundant of minerals in the Urals and Siberia from more ancient times. The values at respect in 1936, mentioned about 5,173,000 oz, why reduced pruently in about 4,500,000 oz. Other more optimistic values duplicated these tables. USSR is second place behind South Africa and ahead of Canada and the United States. The deposits of these mineral stay in the Aldan and Kolyma rivers in Yakutia and others in Central Asia and the Urals. In Salair mine obtain gold with zinc and lead.
  • Platinum: The extraction of these mineral are abundant in Nizhni-Tagilin Urals mountains.
  • Chromium: In the Urals mountains was obtained 200,000 tonnes of chromite.
  • Tin and Tungsten: there exist deposits of these minerals in the East Baikal Area and Kazhakstan.
  • Borax and Potash: These minerals are exploited in great quantities in Solikamsk. The local production was 1,800,000 tonnes in 1937. The total reserves of potash are valued at 15,000 tonnes and magnesium stay in about 18,000,000 tonnes. In Lake Inder (central Asia) obtain about 30,000 tonnes.
  • Asbestos: This mineral was extracted in Asbest mine, near Sverdlovsk from 1889 from the Urals. The fiber is encountered in Peridotite, as in Quebec and Rhodesia. Other deposits exist in Altai Sayan. The Ural reserves stain in about 17,500,000 tonnes of fiber with more than 0.7 mm in length, which is sufficient for internal needs. The USSR is second place in production of these mineral with a yield of 100,000 tonnes.
  • Talc and Steatite: deposits of these minerals exist in the Urals in great quantity.
  • Magnesium: Apart from the sources of borax, there are also pure magnesium deposits in Sverdlovsk and Chelyabinsk, with production of 800,000 tonnes.
  • Halite (rock salt): The extractions of these element are in Solikamsk in the Urals.
  • Common salt: This is recovered from the Aral Sea.
  • Precious Stones and Gems: The Urals have many sources of these, including emeralds, beryllium, amethyst, topaz, malachite, rubies, alejandrie, sapphires, zirconium, diamonds, etc.
  • Mercury: The important sources are in the Urals Mountains.
  • Mirabilite: Their sources are in the Kara-Bogaz gulf.

Other general mineral observations in Siberia

The Mineral Richest of Siberia is situated in second place together with local Agriculture. The mineral distribution reflect more near your local geology, divided in three great mineral regions:

  1. Altai Ranges (Kirgiz Highlands of West Siberia) with copper, gold, silver, etc.
  2. Ancient Asiatic badge (very important region) which comprehends the Baikal lake zone, with coal, iron, gold, etc.
  3. East Siberia Mountain lands, notably the High Amur river area, for their easy access – of major importance.


The existence of coal, estimated at 400,000,000,000 tonnes, was about a quarter of the Asian total, or half of the European reserves. The principal coal mining valleys and basins are:

  • Kuznetsk Basin
  • Irkutsk Valley
  • Minusinsk Basin
  • Kirguiz Steppe Valleys (Karaganda Basin)
  • Sakhalin Island (Alexandrovsk Valley)
  • Maritime Provinces
  • Tunguska Basin
  • Bureisk Valley

During the interwar years, the sources of major production are the Kuznetsk; the Carboniferous Basin of Irkutsk is extend joining at Transiberian railway, in 480 km, and the Maritime province near the Vladivostok area.


If encounter in north section of Sakhalin island, and your exploited are accord topic between Japanese and Russians. Other sources are in the Kamchatka or Ohkostk coasts, but the rest of Siberia did not promise much, with the exception of petrol pits in Central Asia or the Urals. These last (referring to the Turkestan zone) are one extension of Caucasian petrol zone and the mentioned Ural petrol sources.


This metal is mostly found Siberia; currently, the principal mining districts are in the Olekma-Vitim region, in the Lena Valley. During the period 1910-1914, the Siberian gold mines extracted an average of 46,655 kg and employed 57,000 workers. The exploited deposits are placer gold. The British Company "Lena Goldfields" owned and operated much of the gold production until the revolution, and secured compensation from the Soviet government in 1935. Russia remains the second biggest gold producer in the world.


Especially important in the Kirguises Steppes, in the Altai ranges and the Yenisei river basin.

Zinc, lead and silver

zinc is a natural resource.


Stay more distributed and are exploited. The most important are Telbes Mine(Kuznetsk coal basin), Minusinsk, Yenisei valley, Olga territory (Maritime Province) and the Irkutsk area.

Other minerals

Between theirs are tin, manganese, platinum, iridium, osmium and other nonmetallic minerals. The USSR was near self-sufficiency with respect to mineral needs.


These if are natural resources known for Japanese Industrialist of Zaibatsu in Japan and Manchukuo, why theirs stay more interest in exploited and extend your mining business in these area thanks at agreements with Soviet Government or in other case for one Japanese Army invasion for taken at force these resources, and military interest in increased the mineral reserves for making more weapons too. Precisely in overall plan of these area industries participated in economical lines or how obtain these resources in one eventually invasion strategy, but when the Japanese Army defeats occurred in Japanese-Russian Incidents in 1929, 1938 and 1939, these plans were stopped.

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