The Largest Open Pits of Russia

by | Sep 28, 2018

Russia is the absolute leader among 166 mining countries by the number of mineral resources, producing 48 types of minerals. For reference, many other mining countries produce less than 10 types of minerals. In general, the share of the Russian mining industry in the world is 9,7 %, which makes it the third-largest producer after the USA and China.

Today we have prepared a list of top 10 open pits located in the Russian Federation. Enjoy your reading and do not forget to share this post with your colleagues!

Udachny Open Pit

(the city of Udachny, Yakutia)

Udachny is one of the largest pits in the global diamond mining industry. Its depth is 640 m, near-surface size — 2×1,6 km. In 2015, the open-pit mining operations were completed, and now Udachny diamond pipe reserves, explored to the depth of about 1400 m, are developed through underground mining methods.

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Open Pit of THE Lebedinsky GOK*

(the city of Gubkin, Belgorod region)

Lebedinsky GOK Open Pit is the world’s largest open pit for the development of nonfuel minerals. Its depth exceeds 400 m, dimensions — 4×5 km. It should be noted that Lebedinsky GOK is the largest mining and iron ore beneficiation enterprise and the only HBI manufacturer in Russia and the CIS.

* GOK — Mining and Processing Complex

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Borodinsky coal strip mine

(the city of Borodino, Krasnoyarsk region)

Borodinsky is the largest coal mine in Russia, length — 7 km, width — 2 km. Coal seam depth does not exceed 100 m, seam thickness reaches 45 m! Borodino coal miners produce about 20 million tons of coal per year. In January 2016, Borodinsky mine delivered its billionth ton of coal. Other Russian coal mines have never reached this production level.

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Asbestovsky Pit

(the city of Asbest, Sverdlovsk region)

Asbestovsky Pit — this quarry stretched beyond 11 km, its width is about 2 km, depth — 350 m. The quarry is located at the Bazhenov chrysotile asbestos deposit, which is the largest and the richest deposits of the world in terms of reserves. The company developing this deposit produces 21% of chrysotile in the world and 45% in Russia and is the country’s largest producer of construction aggregates with an annual capacity of 12 million tons.

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Tsentralny Open Pit

(the city of Kirovsk, Murmansk region)

Tsentralny is one of the largest and the deepest pits of the country with the depth reaching 590 m; its length is 3.5 km. The open pit elevation is 1050 m above sea level. Thanks to the journalists, the pits was named a “small Antarctica” because it is covered with snow for about 300 days a year.

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Vostochny Pit of the Olimpiada GOK

(the village of Yeruda, Krasnoyarsk Krai)

Vostochny is the largest open pit of the Russian gold mining industry. The open-pit field size is 1.8×1.7 km, the depth is 580 m.

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Sibaysky Open Pit

(the city of Sibay, Bashkortostan)

Its depth exceeds 500 m, width — 2 km. It was the largest surface mine in Russia during is operation. A combined ore haulage method was applied here, which included direct ore reloading from trucks to railway dump cars in the pit. Back then, the only skip hoist in the country (40 t lifting capacity) was commissioned here in the course of open pit development. In 2000, the hundred millionth ton of copper ore was produced here. Later it was decided to suspend operations at the mine. Now the deposit is being developed using underground mining methods.

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Mir Open Pit

(the city of Mirny, Yakutia)

Its depth is 525 m, diameter — 1.2 km. Open-pit mining here started in 1957 and lasted 44 years until 2001. The largest gem-quality diamond mined in Russia was obtained from this mine in 1981 (342.5 carats, more than 68 g) and is called the “XXVI Congress of CPSU”.

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Korkinsky coal strip mine

(the city of Korkino, Chelyabinsk region)

Korkinsky is the deepest coal mine in Eurasia; its depth exceeds 500 m, 2.5-km wide open pit spreads for over 3 km lengthwise. Pit development launched in 1931 and was completed in 2017.

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Zhelezny Open Pit of the Kovdor GOK

(the city of Kovdor, Murmansk region)

One of the largest pits in the North-West Russia. Pit field dimensions are 1.6×2.3 km, the depth exceeds 450 m. It should be noted that Kovdor enterprise carries out complex processing of mineral raw materials and produces three marketable concentrates: iron ore, apatite (#2 in Russia) and baddeleyite (the only one in the world).

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