Discovery and exploitation of the Khibiny deposits is one of the remarkable and outstanding highlights in the history of the Russian geology. It took a long time period to discover unexpectedly ore at the bottom of Kukisvumchorr mount in 1921 and triumphantly reveal multi-layer ore zone during drilling of test boreholes in the valley Oleny Ruchei in 1975.
Expedition of academician A. Fersman is considered the pioneer of the Khibiny deposit, being supported by Colonizational Council of Murmansk railway and Northern research and industrial expedition and organized by Mineralogical Museum of Russian academy of sciences. That period 1921-1929 was marked with discovery of large apatite deposits such as Kukisvumchorr, Yukspor, Rasvumchorr, ore zone of Apatite circus. These deposits were estimated as non-limited ore deposits and considered at that time the ideal source to meet the needs in phosphate materials.
Active exploitation of deposits discovered made slow the process of exploration something new at the neighboring surroundings. At the beginning of 1960s specialists made conclusion that thickness of apatite ore bodies was reducing as drilling works progressed and need of phosphate fertilizers wa not met to the full. Timely conclusions started the further search of deposits and finally new ore zones of the Khibiny were discovered during 1958-1975.
The first signs of apatite deposit became a public piece of news in August 1921. At first it was not studied in details, it was unexpectedly revealed at influx circulation near Kukisvumchorr being a multilayer area of green blocks of 1 pood (16 kg). Expedition was tired and just recorded this discovery. Only 5 years later, specialist of Mineralogical museum, A.N. Labuntsov had found bedrock exposure of apatite veins at south-western slope of spur.
Inquisitive search group consisting of A.N. Labuntsov and three students of Leningrad State University decided not to limit their search of Kukisvumchorr deposit. They are famous as well as pioneers of the same ore zone near Yukspor mount. Apatite-nepheline ores were not found only by exposure (in the top of stated above mount) but at its slopes. On 19.08.1927 it was estimated as 4 million tons, two years later after detailed study - 131.6 million tons ore and 63 million tons of apatite, 40-75% of mineral content.
Plateau Rasvumchorr deposit
July 1923 was marked with discovery of apatite-nepheline deposits at Plateau Rasvumchorr. Search group of B.M. Kupletsky consisting of E.M. Bondshtedt, E.E. Kostyleva and A.N. Labuntsov had found data on its existence but didn't study it exposure. Only three years later - 07.09.1926, mineral monuments were installed, deposit reserve was estimated of 2 million tons. In 1929 V.I. Vlodavets established that this location was a false bedrock exposure, found by A.N. Labuntsov, but only erosion occurrence, as the real rock was located several hundred meters away.
It is one of the ore zones actively resisting to be found. There are records of its discovery of 1929, however, B.M. Kupletsky considered it was of no interest. Persistent A.N. Labuntsov had found exposure location in 1931, and later in September, geologists A.S. Amelandov joined the data to name it Kuelpor deposit. A year later it was estimated of 12 million tons of apatite ores. During many years this ore zone referred to one of no ore value and considered reserve deposit.
It is an ore zone that had a long time from discovery to commercial exploitation. It was firstly discovered in 1932 by P.I. Prokofyev, year by year it expanded its boundaries and disclosed its new secrets to the explorers. First estimation made by A.N. Labuntsov in 1937 was 40 million tons of apatite ore. During period 1953 to 1963 many studies were carried out and resulted in conclusion that there were no prospects of deposit development. It was started to be exploited only in 1985.
It is one of the ore zones that was thoroughly studied. There are 400 boreholes, it is more than the entire amount of boreholes made during the history of the Khibiny deposits. Almost 30 years (since the first mentions of apatite-nepheline deposits in 1930 till official recognition of Koashva deposit in 1960) explorers worked and studied the area, determining its prospects and making estimation of ore reserves.
It is one of many ore zones that was found but not exploited by the time. First it was discovered in 1939 and during 20 years was studied. After geological mapping and drilling of series of boreholes, discoveries were considered unpromising - 427 million tons ore, 15% apatite content. In 1972 additional study was carried out within the apatite ore reserve expanding. It is still considered a reserve deposit and registered in the State Register of Reserves.
Oleny Ruchei deposit
It is an ore zone accidentally found in 1961 by F.V. Minakov and E.A. Kamenev during study of the area for further geolgical mapping of the Khibiny area. It was estimated as promising in 1970 and characterized by 65-70% of apatite content, during the next decade it was studied and explored. In particular, about 10 boreholes were drilled in 1975-1978 to cross the two-layer ore zone. It was revealed that the upper layer of the deposit was a deposit of ore breccia of Nyorkpakhk type, the bottom layer is a multilayer ore zone of vein-shaped bodies in host rischorrites.