Facts about Armenia
The age old process of volcanic and tectonic activity that took place on the Armenian plateau, created in its depths an unusual geological museum. The rocks composing the earth's crust are also embedded in its depths. Armenia has iron, copper, molybdenum, and polymetallic ores containing rare earth elements and gold, silver, lead, and zinc. There are deposits of nephelin for use as raw material in the production of aluminum and manganese deposits.
In Abovian and Hrazdan, there are two deposits of iron ore that are of great industrial importance. These deposits are estimated to contain 400 million and 150 million tons respectively. The average content of iron in the Abovian ore is 28 percent and in Hrazdan ore, 32 percent. The iron ores of these deposits are complex. In addition to the main component of iron, they contain valuable rare earth elements of the cerium and yttrium group, as well as dispersed elements of germanium, gallium, tallium, niobium, and tantalum. The Hrazdan deposit also contains zirconium.
Nonferrous and Precious Metals
Armenia has a strong mineral resource base of copper molybdenum ores. Explored deposits of the world renowned Kadjaran copper molybdenum ores are a potential source for the next 100 years The Kadjaran mining and extracting factory is the largest enterprise in the mining industry. Connected with the indicated type of copper molybdenum ores are the explored and estimated reserves of molybdenum. the substantive part copper reserves (90 percent). rare and dispersed elements (rhenium, selenium, tellurium, bismuth. and germanium), and certain parts of accompanying precious metals of gold and silver. Molybdenum and copper are the main components of the complex copper molybdenum ores. The content of molybdenum varies from 0.001 percent to 0.1. The content of copper traces is to 0.1 percent. The deposits of copper belonging to proper copper include about 10 percent of explored reserves with 80 percent of copper and copper pyrites ores. In the ore veins of the Alaverdi deposit, the content of copper reaches 12 to 20 percent and more. The year 2000 is the target date for the restoration of the Alaverdi copper works plant and the construction of a new modern plant in Kapan.
Lead and Zinc
The lead and zinc ores are the second most common in Armenia after copper molybdenum and proper copper. In the lead-zinc, copper-zinc, and complex gold-polymetallic ore deposits, the average content of lead is 1.5 to 3 percent, zinc is 2 to 6 percent, and copper, 0.5 to 1 percent. These ores also contain valuable rare elements as cadmium, bismuth, indium. and selenium.
Gold and Silver
The deposits of the mentioned ores of nonferrous metals are characterized by a considerable content of precious metals making the deposits industrially important. There are proper gold ore deposits in Zod. Meghradzor. and Terterasar. Armenia has become a most remarkable gold bearing region. A new plant is planned to be in operation by the year 2000.m The Armenian volcanic and segmentary rocks are a useful building material. Particularly exceptional is the white, pink, orange, and black tufa all of which are light, durable, and easily processed. They serve as a main construction and decoration material. The estimated reserve of the felzite tufa in Armenia is 3 billion cubic meters. The country has abundant deposits of marble, granite. high quality travertine. and limestone and small deposits of clay gypsum (the raw material for gypsum) The Parakar deposit has a relatively large content of bihydrous gypsum (50 to 80 percent or more). The Parakar plant is to begin operations in 1998.
Semi-Precious and Ornamental Stones
Armenia is rich with semiprecious and ornamental stones such as the jewelry agates, jasper, amethyst, serdoliks, turquoise, and different types of marble onyx. Obsidian (volcanic glass) has many variations of color and is used in many applications. Obsidian is found in Northern Armenia, particularly in the Hrazdan region. Jewelry and decorative art works made from these precious stones have high artistic value throughout the world. Despite the variety of precious stones, this area has been slightly explored and is an underutilized mineral resource. During the last 10 to 15 years, specialized geological work has been initiated, and as a result Armenia has the potential to become a viable precious stone region. Common salt deposits having estimated reserves of 150 to 200bin tons have been found near the capital city of Yerevan.
Location: Southwestern Asia, east of Turkey
Geographic Coordinates: 40 00 N, 45 00 E
Map References: Commonwealth of Independent States
Area (Total): 29,800 sq km
Area (Land): 28,400 sq km
Area (Water): 1,400 sq km
Area Comparative: slightly smaller than Maryland
Land Boundaries: 1,254 km
Border Countries: Azerbaijan-proper 566 km, Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave 221 km, Georgia 164 km, Iran 35 km, Turkey 268 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime Claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: highland continental, hot summers, cold winters
Terrain: Armenian Highland with mountains; little forest land; fast flowing rivers; good soil in Aras River valley
Elevation Extremes (Lowest Point): Debed River 400 m
Elevation Extremes (Highest Point): Aragats Lerr 4,095 m
Natural Resources: small deposits of gold, copper, molybdenum, zinc, alumina
Land Use: 17% permanent crops: 3% permanent pastures: 24% forests and woodland: 15% other: 41%
Irrigated Land: 2,870 sq km
Natural Hazards: occasionally severe earthquakes; droughts