28 Dec 2023 19:02

Russia aims to join world's top four in reserves of scarce minerals - Minister of Natural Resources

MOSCOW. Dec 28 (Interfax) - The implementation of the Geology. Revival of a Legend federal project will allow for additional geological exploration and the discovery of new mineral deposits. As a result, Russia will retain its leading position in the world in gas and gold reserves, and for scarce mineral types as tungsten, lithium, uranium and rare earth metals, it will enter the world's top four, Russia's Natural Resource Minister Alexander Kozlov told Interfax.

He noted that work is currently underway at 23 sites under the Geology. Revival of a Legend federal project. Of these, eight are involved in the search for hydrocarbons (five in Yakutia and one each in the Tomsk region, Tyumen region, and Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District). Another 15 sites are dedicated to the search for solid minerals, such as gold, copper, lead, zinc, iron ore, and bentonite clay.

"In the fall, we began work on expanding the Geology: Revival of a Legend federal project. Namely, we will integrate the Far East and Siberia geological exploration program into it. We are doing this on behalf of the President. He set us the task of multiplying geological exploration in Yakutia, and we moved on and developed programs for 11 Far Eastern regions and 10 Siberian regions. There are 341 promising areas ready for additional geological exploration (256 in the Far East and 85 in Siberia)," he said.

Commenting on exploration plans in the Far East, the minister said, "Additional geological exploration will make it possible to discover nearly 1,000 new fields with a good level of reserves. As a result, we will maintain, and in some cases strengthen, our global leadership. In natural gas - first place in the world. In gold - first, in copper - fifth. In addition, for scarce mineral types like tungsten, lithium, uranium and rare earth metals, we will join the world's top four. In this regard, the low level of knowledge we have of the Far East is to our advantage. We have a fund of little-studied territories in which major discoveries will be made," Kozlov said.

"We are also looking for underground water beneath the territories of the federal project. Drilling and testing of 14 wells is currently underway, and we expect that the increase in reserves will be over 51,000 cubic meters of water per day instead of the planned 10,000," he said.