Mineral and raw materials and fuel and energy resources

Almost 5 thousand deposits and mineral deposits have been identified and explored in the bowels of Belarus. In general, they contain about 30 types of mineral raw materials (Table 3.11). Fuel and energy resources in Belarus are represented by oil, peat, brown coal and oil shale.

The main oil and gas-bearing territory is the Belarusian Polesie. Oil resources are estimated at 338 million tons, 52% of which belong to the category of industrial. Undiscovered reserves amount to 169 million tons.

Belarusian oil lies at a depth of 2 to 3.5 km. The quality of oil in different places is not the same: in the north of Pripyat Polesie, paraffin, resinous, low-sulfur oil prevails, in the south – low-paraffin and high-sulfur. Given the great dependence of Belarus on external oil suppliers (primarily from Russia), it is necessary to search more intensively for new fields.

According to experts, the maximum annual production can be increased only by 25%, but this requires a multiple increase in capital investments (2.5-8 times), which practically cannot be done in today’s economic conditions.

Oil shale is common in the south of Belarus (Gomel region, Soligorsk and Lyuban districts of Minsk region), discovered in 1963, estimated reserves are 10 billion tons.
1.18 billion tons). Development conditions are relatively favorable. Oil shale is considered a potential raw material base for the development of energy, the chemical industry and the production of building materials.

Deposits of brown coal are located in Pripyat Polesie. Estimated reserves – 1.3 billion tons Three fields have been explored in detail – Zhitkovichi (discovered in 1969, reserves –
52.9 million tons), Brinevskoye (Petrikovsky district, reserves – 40 million tons) and Tonezhskoye (Lelchitsky district, reserves – 59.1 million tons). In recent years, a relatively large Bukchanskoye field has been discovered in the south of Belarus (Lelchitsy district), which in the future may be of industrial importance.

Explored coal deposits have not yet been developed, since coal lies at a great depth, has a low seam capacity and low quality. Today’s challenges are threefold.
Buy industrial development of the Zhitkovichi field. Mining is possible by building a quarry with a capacity of up to
2 million tons of coal per year. But the field is located mainly in the green zone of Zhitkovichi, which requires the development of a set of measures to reduce the negative impact on the environment.

The most common type of fuel in Belarus is peat. More than 9 thousand of its deposits are known, about 100 are exploited.

In terms of peat reserves (estimated reserves are 4.4 billion tons, industrial – 2.5 billion tons), Belarus ranks second in the CIS, second only to Russia. Recently, the annual production is 27 – 30 million tons The richest deposits are in the Brest, Vitebsk, Minsk regions, where the geological reserve of peat is about 68% of the total.

There are more than 65 peat enterprises in Belarus. The largest of them are Svetlogorsk and Berezovskoye. Only in 1973-1996 peat was not used as a fuel and energy raw material. The presence of many organic compounds in it makes it possible to widely use peat for the production of organomineral fertilizers, growth stimulants and other biostimulants, products for household chemicals, printing, on the bedding of livestock. It is widely used in mud therapy.

Table 3.11 Resource requirements

State and forecast of development of resource potential of Belarus, [2, p. 81-87]

Gradation of minerals

Type of raw material


Industrial resources as of 01.01.2000

Resource Movement 2001-2005

Status Assessment and Change Forecast

resource potential



balance as of 2005









1. Minerals under development or prepared for industrial use

1.1. Oil

million tonnes





Reduction of production resources, availability in terms of production level in 2000
(1.84 million tons) – 34 years. It is possible to transfer resources to industrial reserves

1.2. Potassium salts

million tons of potassium oxide





The provision of the first ore management with resources is 17 years, the second ore management is 42 years, the fourth ore management is 101 years. It is possible to transfer the C2 resources of the second ore management and off-balance resources of the first ore management to industrial ones during geological exploration

1.3. Rock salt

million tonnes




The decrease in resources due to production is insignificant in comparison with the explored reserves and the rate of extraction of resources

1.4. Dolomites

million tonnes




Availability of proven reserves – more than 50 years It is possible to transfer reserves of C2 resources to industrial

1.5. Brown coals

million tonnes



Explored reserves provide the design of a mine with a capacity of 2 million tons of coal per year. Their development is hampered by environmental considerations

1.6. Peat

million tonnes





Availability of explored recoverable reserves – more than 50 years It is possible to transfer the reserves of the used fund to the one under development

1.7. Molding materials

Availability of explored reserves of existing enterprises – from 15 to
40 years The need of metallurgical enterprises in molding sands of higher grades can be ensured by their import from Ukraine

– sands

million tonnes




– clay

million tonnes



The prepared reserves meet the need of foundries in molding mixtures for the manufacture of small cast iron castings and castings from non-ferrous metals Direction of work – identification of clays that meet the quality of a wider range of foundry requirements

1.8 Building materials

Availability of needs for the production of window and container glass – more than 50 years The direction of work is the identification of better quartz sands and the creation of enrichment facilities for the already explored

– glass sands

million tonnes




– cement raw materials

Cement plants are provided with proven reserves for the long term. Direction of work – additional exploration of exploited fields, search for new, as close as possible to existing enterprises

(a) Chalk

million tonnes





b) clay

million tonnes





c) marls

million tonnes




– sand-gravel mixture

mln. m3





Enterprises are provided with explored reserves for 5-25 years. Extension of the deadline for the provision of existing enterprises and the creation of new ones is possible through the search and exploration of new deposits

1.9. Fresh groundwater

thousand m3/day





Minsk, regional cities and industrial enterprises are provided for the long term. The direction of work is the search, exploration and reassessment of sources for the transfer of district centers, urban and rural settlements to centralized water supply, and the most household and drinking water supply – to underground sources

1.10. Sapropels

million tonnes




The availability of explored reserves is more than 60 years. It is possible to increase the rate of their production

1.11. Mineral waters






The transfer of resources to operational reserves in the process of geological exploration will ensure the development of sanatorium and resort complexes and enterprises for the bottling and supply of mineral medical and drinking waters

2. Minerals under exploration

2.1. Iron ores

million tonnes of Si




Transfer of pre-explored reserves to industrial reserves through their detailed exploration and preparation of reserves for their industrial development

2.2. Rare metals

mln. t usl. Unit S



Due to the absence of the customer for this type of raw material, it is not envisaged to transfer pre-explored reserves to industrial ones. The direction of work is the search for a consumer and an investor in the domestic and foreign markets

2.3. Zeolite-containing silicides

million tonnes of C



Transfer of pre-explored reserves into industrial, feasibility study of their industrial development, search for new deposits

2.4. Gypsum

million tonnes of C



Annual demand – 90-100 thousand tons Its provision is possible through geological exploration to transfer explored reserves to industrial ones

2.5. Oil shale

million tonnes of Si



Mining is unprofitable due to the low quality of raw materials. The direction of work is the study of the world experience of rational methods of their extraction and processing

2.6. Phosphorites

million tons of P2O. With



The annual demand is about 100 thousand tons of concentrate. Its satisfaction depends on the development of a rational production technology and the preparation of reserves for development.

2.7. Kaolins

million tonnes of Si



Annual demand – about 20 thousand tons Direction of work – the study of enrichment methods and technologies of use

2.8. Industrial waters




Transfer of pre-explored operational reserves to industrial ones, development of optimal modes for the extraction of iodine and bromine and assessment of the possibilities of extracting rare and other elements

3. Minerals promising for further study

3.1. Diamonds

4 promising areas, 31 explosion tubes were identified. Projected resources were not calculated

The direction of work is the search for explosion tubes in promising areas and their diamond-bearing™ assessment

3.2. Gold

Favorable geological prerequisites in the rocks of the foundation and sedimentary cover

Assessment of the gold content of foundation rocks, Paleogene and anthropogenic deposits, associated assessment of the gold content of iron ores, potassium salts and sand and gravel rocks, calculation of preliminary estimated reserves of resources

3.3. Amber

t Ci



Transfer of resources to reserves through geological exploration

3.4. Aluminum and soda raw materials

million tonnes of Si



The transfer of pre-explored reserves to industrial reserves is constrained by the lack of a cost-effective method of their extraction.

3.5. Titanocyrconia placers

5 promising areas were identified. Projected resources were not calculated

Direction of work – study of the possibility of using raw materials, assessment of the industrial value of one of the identified promising areas

3.6. Vollastonite graphite, glauconite

There are favorable geological prerequisites. Projected resources were not calculated

Area of work – predictive research, study of material composition and technological properties, determination of market opportunities

3.7. Building materials:

Explored reserves make it possible to increase the capacity for the production of high-strength crushed stone to 15-20 million m3 / year. Area of work – additional exploration of the Glushkovichskoye field to depth

– building stones

mln. m3




– facing stones

mln. m3




Explored reserves provide a significant increase in production volumes

– chalk for lime production

million tonnes





The provision of explored reserves of existing enterprises is from 8 to 50 years. Direction of work – search, exploration of deposits close to existing enterprises

– refractory clays

million tonnes




Existing enterprises are provided with explored reserves for a period of more than 30 years. Reserves can be increased due to additional exploration of developed and search for new fields

– low-melting clays

million tonnes





Explored reserves are provided for a period of up to 1 year – seven, from 1 to 10 years – eleven, from 10 to 20 years – twelve, from 20 to 25 years – three and over 25 years – thirty-six operating enterprises, an increase in reserves for extending the term of existing and building new enterprises can be ensured during geological exploration and prospecting works

– construction sands

mln. m3





The provision of explored reserves of existing enterprises is from 18 to more than 30 years. Area of work – search and exploration of raw material bases close to existing enterprises and for the construction of new ones

Assessing the totality of fuel and energy resources, it should be noted that Belarus’ own resources will not be able to fully meet the needs of its economy either today or in the near future. Moreover, if in 1990 the provision of own energy resources was 11.5%, then according to experts in 2000 it decreased to 7.6%. This figure is lower only in Moldova and Armenia.

Two deposits of iron ore, 10 ore occurrences and a number of mineralization zones are known in Belarus. Okolovskoe mesto-
The ore zone has a length of up to 10 km, a capacity of about 140 m. Ore reserves are estimated at 1.5 billion tons. according to geophysical data, the estimated resources are estimated at 800 – 900 million tons, the rock contains an average of slightly more than 26% of iron. The ores are easily enriched, from them it is possible to obtain a high-quality masterbatch of magnesite necessary for electrometallurgical production at the Zhlobin plant. It is believed that, despite the difficult geological and hydrogeological conditions, the development of the deposit can be profitable if you go to the world level of selling prices for magnesite concentrate and comprehensively use the waste in its production.

Novoselkovskoye deposit (Korelichi district) was discovered in 1966 The main ore minerals here are magnetite (up to 60%) and ilmenite (up to 30%), in which up to 35.7% is iron. Reserves are estimated at 165 million tons Due to the deep occurrence of ore and its rather low quality, the deposit is not being developed.

In Belarus, even in ancient times, iron was mined from swamp iron ores. More than 300 such deposits are known. They are almost everywhere, most of them are in the Gomel and in the south of the Minsk region. Ore deposits in the form of lenses, nests of small sizes have an average of 30-40, occasionally 50% of iron.

Bauxite and davsonite ores in Belarus were discovered in 1967 and are distributed in Pripyat Polesie, on the border of Mozyr and Yel districts. Industrial reserves amount to 2.6 billion tons. davsonite is currently considered as a potential raw material for the production of aluminum and soda. According to experts, this is the only industrial field in the CIS.

Ores of rare metals and rare earth elements have been identified in the Zhitkovichi and Shchuchinsk districts. In the Mikashevichi, Zhitkovichi, Kobrin districts there are manifestations of zirconium, ilmenite, cerium, niobium, etc. Eight pyrite ore occurrences, two molybdenum-copper and one copper-nickel are known.
Left. All of them are located mainly in Grodno and Minsk regions. There are manifestations of gold.

For the first time salt deposits on the territory of Belarus were identified in 1941 in the Gomel region, near the village of Davydovka. In terms of reserves of potash salts, Belarus ranks 3rd in the world and produces more than 10% of the world’s potash fertilizers at Soligorsk potash plants. On the territory of Belarus, potassium salts were found in Pripyat Polesie on the territory of about 14 thousand km2, lie at a depth of 350 to 4200 m. Total reserves are about 80 billion tons, of which industrial –
6.5 billion tons

Two deposits of potassium salts – Petrikovskoye and Starobinskoye – have been explored. Only the latter is being developed. The Starobinskoye field was discovered in 1949 and is operated by PA Belaruskali. The total balance reserves of crude potassium salts amount to 3.3 billion tons. explored reserves are estimated at 500 million tons, prospective – at 25 billion tons.

On the basis of the Mozyr field, a salt-producing plant for the production of table salt of the “Extra” variety is operating, which satisfies the needs of the republic only by 50%. Work is underway to develop deposits with the best mining and geological conditions: a smaller depth of occurrence, a greater capacity of reservoirs, and a better quality of useful components. In the case of the development of such deposits, Belarus will be able to fully meet its domestic needs and become a major exporter of table salt.

Gypsum and anhydrite have long been known on the territory of Belarus. The largest is the Brinevskoye field (Petrikovsky district), the estimated resources of which are estimated at 1 billion tons. gypsum and anhydrite can be used not only in construction (construction gypsum, facing plates, additives in the production of Portland cement, etc.), but also in the production of ammonium sulfate – a valuable nitrogen fertilizer.

As early as 1856, it was known about the presence of phosphorites in the territory of the Mogilev province. Recently, they have been identified in the Brest and Mogilev regions (lying at a depth of 35 to 100 m) and have the prospect of use.

Belarus is rich in carbonate raw materials, it is represented by dolomite, chalk, lime tuff. There are 10 known deposits of these minerals with total reserves of more than 1 billion tons The most industrial importance is the Ruba deposit in the Vitebsk region, where the total reserves of dolomite are
1162 million tons, explored – 790 million tons, of which the balance sheet –
224.9 million tons Development has been carried out since 1933 in an open way. The final marketable product is dolomite flour, which is used for liming acidic soils. Cement raw materials were identified in Mogilev (marls, chalk, flint rocks), Vitebsk (lake-glacial clays), Gomel (Neogene clays) and Grodno (marl-cretaceous rocks, clays, loams) regions.

More than 30 deposits of chalk with fairly large industrial reserves are known in the republic. The largest in the CIS is the Kommunarskoye field near the Station of Kommunary of the Kostyukovichi District.

Low-melting clays (ceramic raw materials) are widespread. There are 216 known deposits with total reserves of about 230 million m3. The largest of them is the Haydukovka field (Minsk district).

6 deposits of refractory clays with reserves of 53 million m3 have also been explored, four of which are exploited. The largest of them are Gorodokskoye in the Loyevsky district, Stalinsky khutors and Gorodnoye – in the Stolin district.

Almost all corners of Belarus have sands and sand and gravel deposits. More than 100 deposits of construction sand and about 144 of sand and gravel material have been explored and are being developed, of which 98 are exploited. 3 deposits of molding sands have been explored in the republic (Lenino in the Dobrush district; Zhlobinskoye and Chetvernya in the Zhlobin district) with a total industrial reserve of 43 million tons. however, Belarus does not have all the brands of molding sands necessary for domestic metallurgical enterprises, so a significant number of them (about 200 thousand tons) are imported annually from Ukraine. Belarus has sufficient reserves of glass sands in the Brest (Gorodnoye deposit) and Gomel (Loyevskoye deposit) regions, but they are suitable only for the production of window and container glass. Better sands for the production of crystal can only be obtained with the help of enrichment. Therefore, the organization of the production of enrichment sand is a rather promising direction.

Almost throughout the territory of the republic, deposits of building materials have been explored, the reserves of which are sufficient to meet the needs of the construction industry. In the south of Belarus, three deposits of building stone (Mikashevichi, Glushkovichi, Sitnitsa) with balance reserves of 588 million m3 have been explored in the rocks of the crystalline foundation. On the basis of the Mikashevichi deposit in 1975, the largest plant in Europe for the production of non-metallic materials was launched.
Since 1977, the Karier Nadezhda deposit has been developed, where highly decorative stone is mined. Its industrial reserves are 3.4 million m3. The capacity of the useful stratum is 40-43 m. Every year the deposit gives about 14 thousand m3 of stone. The reserves of only the Mikashevichi deposit are able to meet the needs of PA “Granit” in raw materials for more than 50 years.

Recently, in the central part of the Belarusian crystalline foundation (Korelichi district), manifestations of marble and waxtonite have been found. They lie at a depth of more than 200 m. The power of the marble layer ranges from 9 to 73 m, the length is about 1000 m.

Belarus is rich in sapropels. These are silty deposits of fresh water bodies, which contain more than 15% of organic matter formed as a result of the accumulation of remains of dead organisms and lower plants, organomineral components from the catchment area. Total reserves are about 3.8 billion m3 in lakes, about 1 billion m3 under peat deposits. About 350 deposits of lake sapropels are known. Most of them are in Vitebsk and Minsk regions.

Sapropels are used as local fertilizers, impurities to livestock feed, drilling fluids, light building materials, for the production of particle boards and fiberboards. Sapropels are widely used in mud therapy. About 90 deposits of therapeutic sapropel are known in Belarus. The largest of them are Sudable, Svyatoe, where the sediments have such healing properties that are not inferior to the mineral mud of the Odessa estuaries. About 30 production facilities are working on the extraction of sapropels for the production of fertilizers.

About 250 deposits of vivianite are known in the republic, which in our conditions gives impurities of peat, for which it is called peat vivianite. Its largest reserves are located in the Gomel region (the Belitskoye swamp in the Rogachev district, Glubokoye, Vasilyevskoye in the Dobrush district). Vivianite is used as a phosphorus-organic fertilizer.

Amber finds on the territory of Belarus have been known since antiquity. Most often it was found in Brest, Grodno, Gomel and Minsk regions. Recently, in the south of the republic, an amber deposit was discovered in Gatcha (Zhabinka district). Its estimated resources are estimated at tens of tons. Most of the area where amber outcrops are possible is not explored in detail.

In 1980-1990, several areas promising for diamond mining were identified in the Gomel region.

Liquid minerals are represented by fresh groundwater, mineral healing waters and metal-bearing brines. More than 60 deposits (water intakes) of fresh groundwater have been explored, the estimated operational reserves of which are 44 million m3 / day. Their consumption is 50 m3 / day. The main consumer is the utility, which uses almost 90% of groundwater.

Mineral waters are quite widespread. 63 springs with total reserves of 16 thousand m3 / day were explored. At the same time, their selection is only 5% of the total reserves. On the basis of them there are a number of sanatoriums, rest homes.

Metal-bearing brines are located within Pripyat Polesie. They retain bromine, strontium, cesium, boron, potassium, magnesium, iodine and other elements. They are used as natural fertilizers, for balneological purposes, as a means of removing radionuclides from the human body; in industry – for the production of special grades of cement, etc.

An assessment of the natural resource potential of Belarus shows that under the current conditions and the existing structure of the economy, it cannot meet all its national economic needs.

Due to the development of its own fields, Belarus provides annual production of 1.8 million tons of oil, 28 million tons of potassium salt, 1.0 million tons of rock salt, 3.8 million tons of dolomite,
40 thousand tons of sapropels, 700 thousand tons of molding sands, 3.6 million m3 of building stone, 19 million m3 of construction sands and sand and gravel materials, 3.4 million m3 of clay raw materials for the production of bricks and light aggregates and 0.14 million tons of glass sands.

At the same time, due to the limited own raw material base or insufficient study of the subsoil, the import of raw materials into the country is about 14 million tons of oil, 287.1 thousand tons of coal, 16.7 thousand tons of bentonite clays, 90.3 thousand tons of gypsum, 27 thousand tons of kaolin, 50.8 thousand tons of pebbles and crushed stone, 89.8 thousand tons of soda ash, etc. The volume of oil production in the country is only
12-13% of the need and in the future this ratio will not change.

The most valuable minerals, which are rich in the subsoil of Belarus, are potash and rock salts, the industrial reserves of which are respectively 6.9 and
22 billion tons

The country is provided with building materials for more than 100 years. Significant reserves of building stone – 576.6 million m3, cement raw materials – have been identified in the bowels of Belarus
460 million tons, construction sands – 476.1 million m3 of sand and gravel and carbonate materials – 685.4 million m3 and 945 million tons, respectively.

The basis for fuel and energy resources, glass and molding sands, gravel, etc. The change in the economic situation requires new approaches to the development of natural resources, which until recently were considered substandard (iron ore, brown coal, oil shale, gold, etc.). In addition, it is necessary to bear in mind the limiting influence of the environmental factor on the use of a number of resources, primarily in the south-east of the republic.

To strengthen the mineral resource base of Belarus, it is necessary to:

increasing geological exploration, which requires significant financial and material costs; economical and rational use of extracted raw materials, reduction of its losses during extraction, transportation and processing; Thus, the natural resource potential of Belarus acts as a factor restraining the development of economic activity. Today, it can produce only 4% of GDP (for comparison: in Russia – 65%, Ukraine – 15%, Kazakhstan – 27%).

According to the calculations of the NIEI of the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Belarus, the total value of natural resources as part of the national wealth as of 1.01.2000 amounted to 370919.2 million dollars. This is 41 times the GDP produced in 1999 (Table 3.12). Natural resource potential is a strategic national asset, its use should be comprehensive, rational and be under state control.

Table 3.12 Resource requirements

Valuation of natural resources of Belarus

as of 01.01.2000*



Valuation structure

“natural capital”, %

billion rubles

million dollars. UNITED STATES


Groups of countries in terms of GDP per capita from 750 to 2900 dollars. UNITED STATES











Water (surface and groundwater)




Forest raw materials





Non-growing biological









*According to the data see [4, p.54]

**In prices as of 01.01.2000 in Belarusian rubles and US dollars at the rate of 320000 rubles /USD

Security questions for topic No2