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The country with the largest mineral reserves in the world, Russia, is the second top exporter of rare earth minerals. Its natural resources are estimated at tens of trillions of dollars.
It has abundant supplies of oil, natural gas, timber and valuable minerals, such as copper, diamonds, lead, zinc, bauxite, nickel, tin, mercury, gold and silver. Most of those resources are located in Siberia and the Far East.
Russia’s mining industry, which is the country’s second largest after oil and gas, accounts for a significant share of its GDP and exports. The country is among the top three producers of mineral commodities such as platinum, gold and iron ore. It is also the world’s largest producer of diamonds and palladium. The Ural Mountains have vast amounts of minerals while most deposits of coal, oil, gas and timber are located in Siberia.
Russia is the world’s fifth largest producer of coal, with reserves of about 175 billion tons. Most of those mines are in Siberia and the Urals.
The timber industry, which is worth about $20 billion annually, is also a significant economic contributor to the Russian economy. The country’s fishing industry is the fourth largest in the world.
The value of Russia’s resources is huge and, according to statistics, is estimated at $75 trillion. In comparison, the US natural resources are worth approximately $45 trillion while China’s stand at $23 trillion.
Russian company Norilsk Nickel is one of the world’s leading producers of nickel and platinum metals, with roughly half of the world’s supply of palladium and nearly the same share of platinum. Production of palladium is very concentrated, much like that of its sister-metal, platinum. Russia and South Africa are collectively producing about three quarters of the world’s mined supplies. The output of the top producing country, Russia, was 81 metric tons in 2017.
Norilsk Nickel operates mines in Russia, Botswana, Australia, South Africa and Finland. The company’s revenue was almost $10 billion last year.
The global leader in diamond mining, Russia’s Alrosa, accounts for almost a third of the world’s rough-diamond production. The main production facilities are currently concentrated mainly in Western Yakutia and the Arkhangelsk region. In total, Alrosa is developing around 30 fields. In November, it opened a huge new diamond deposit in Yakutia which was launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
While launching the new field he said that “Russia is a country of enormous natural wealth, and the diamonds of Yakutia are another national treasure of which we are proud.” The launch of the new field “will strengthen Russia’s leadership in the global diamond market,” Putin said.