Mining Resources » General Information
Armenia’s mining sector is a key contributor to the national economy. Ore concentrates and metals accounted for just over half of Armenia’s exports in last years, solidifying their status as the country’s most important export products.
More than 670 mines of solid minerals, including 30 metal mines, with confirmed resources are currently registered in the state inventory of mineral resources. Among these around 400 mines, including 22 metal mines are exploited.
Republic of Armenia is rich in iron, copper, molybdenum, lead, zinc, gold, silver, antimony, aluminium, as well as in scarce and scattered metals enclosed therein.
Among metal minerals there are 7 copper-molybdenum mines, 4 copper mines, 14 gold and gold-polymetallic mines, 2 polymetallic mine, 2 iron ore mines and 1 aluminium mine.
In addition to base metals in ores of mines registered in the state inventory, scarce and scattered elements are discovered to exist: rhenium, selenium, tellurium, cadmium, indium, helium, thallium, bismuth, other.
In addition to mines estimated and registered in the state inventory, 115 deposits of various metals have been discovered in the territory of the Republic of Armenia.
Currently, a final product for the mining and smelting industry in Armenia is mainly considered the concentrates (with high concentration of copper, molybdenum, zinc, and in some cases gold and silver, in the nearest future also lead), which does not enable full use of the economic potential of the mines. Organization, in closed and complete cycles (from extraction to creation of a final product), of processing of metal minerals extracted in Armenia will provide opportunity to make high value products, which in its turn will ensure the GDP growth.
There are 15 tailings in the territory of the country, the volumes of which exceed some million m3 and occupy a total area of around 700 hectares. Currently, the production waste generated as a result of extraction and processing of minerals accumulated in tailings is not utilized, though they contain a great amount of polymetals.
The Republic of Armenia takes a lead in the world with abundance and diversity of non-metallic minerals. Nearly all types of mineral rocks well known all over the world exist in the territory of the country. Mountainous rocks formed as a result of volcanic processes in the territory of Armenia are of special value and significance, the most important of which are light rocks (tufa, perlite, pumice-stone, zeolite, scoria, etc.). Resources of various types of basalts, granites, nephelite syenite, marble are huge.
The resources of the most high quality and of the greatest amount of swelling rocks (perlites, obsidians, other) in the world exist in Armenia. The confirmed resources of Aragats-perlite existing in Armenia amount to 150 million m3, whereas the total amount of projected resources reaches up to 3 billion m3. More than 100 basalt, andesite mines are mapped in the entire territory of Armenia, some of which are unique in their composition (the content of Mg-O in basalt Khaladj mineral amounts to 11%). The mines of quartzite, carbonate, zeolite, scoria and pumice-stone, clay, bentonite, diatomite, gypsum, operating on the territory of Armenia, with their rich resources are invaluable with their significance and qualitative indicators.