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Types of mineral reserves of the Khibiny

All minerals used for different needs can be divided into three groups: fuel-and-energy resources, metallic and non-metallic minerals. Each group has several types which in turn can represent different geological-industrial types of minerals. Our region is known for mineral deposits of all three groups and most of types. Only one deposit of oil and gas condensate has been discovered so far in Murmansk arctic shelf that can be referred to fuel-and-energy resources, it is not intended for development in the nearest future, it is so called stock deposit.

Kirov mine

Group of metallic or ore minerals consists of ores containing metals: noble metals like gold, platinum and platinum group metals, non-ferrous metals - nickel, copper, aluminum, molybdenum, zink, chrome, rare metals - strontium, niobium, tantalum, zirconium, cesium, rubidium, lithium, gallium, lanthanides, ferrous metals - iron, titanium and manganese. Industrial noble metals deposits are not revealed yet in the Kola North, however, there is still a hope that it will be found.

Generally the name rare metals are not correct: all these elements are the component of many minerals and can be found almost in all rocks, although in minor quantities. Sometimes rare metals content is higher, for example, in some pegmatite veins found in the central part of the Kola peninsula. Usually rare metals are extracted together with other minerals - non-ferrous and ferrous metals, mining chemical feedstock.

Ferrous metals represented by iron, titanium, manganese and other elements applied in iron alloys. There are two mining and processing combined enterprises «Olenegorsky» and «Kovdorsky» in the Kola North that deal with the mining and processing of magnetite ores with apatite and ferruginous quartzite. Iron ore concentrates of high quality go to metallurgy plants in Tcherepovets and Lipetsk, partly exported. There are several ore and non-metallic mineral deposits known in the region for containing titanium as a minor components - titanite or sphen, titanomagnetite and other, however, commercial titanium - containing ores such as ilmenite and rutile are not found.

Group of non-metallic minerals includes mining-chemical feedstock as apatite-nepheline ores in the Khibiny, commercial feedstock - different mica such as muscovite, vermiculite, phlogopite, ceramic raw materials in Kovdor and Kandalaksha areas, kyanite ores in Keives. The largest and the world's only rich deposits of apatite-nepheline ores in the Khibiny mountains are developed by «Apatit» company comprising of 4 large mines and two processing plants. High quality apatite concentrate goes to many chemical plants and partly for export for production of phosphate fertilizers in order to increase the agriculture's productivity. Besides, apatite is a minor mineral of magnesite ore extraction in Kovdor deposit but has properties suitable for food supplement in farming.

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