Nature of Kursk land is rich and multifarious. In the forest-steppe zone there are tens of thousands species of invertebrate animals, more than 300 vertebrate animals and 265 species of birds, the “main” one of which is famous Kursk nightingale, which unique warbles are considered to be the highest achievement of birds’ vocal.

There are 56 species of mammals in the woods and steppes of Kursk region. They are elks, hares, foxes, roe deer, wild boars, badgers, hedgehogs, polecats, squirrels and other animals.

There are 30 species of fish in the water ponds of the region. The most widely distributed fish are the following: a perch, a gudgeon, a roach, a bleak, a crucian carp and a pike. A bream, a rudd, a tench, an ide, an asp, a burbot, a loach, a silver bream, a pike perch and a sheatfish are less numerous.

There is the Central Chernozem State Nature Reserve named after professor Alekhin in Kursk region. Since 1979 it has been included in the world-wide UNESCO system of biosphere reserves. In 1998 the Central Chernozem State Nature Reserve received a diploma of the Council of Europe.

In 2012 all six areas of the Central Chernozem State Nature Reserve (Streletsky, Kazatsky, Bukreevy Barmy, Barkalovka, Zorinsky plots and Psel bottomland) and four steppe territories of Kursk region (Urochische Parset, Petrova Balka, Urochische Surchiny in Gorshechnoye area and Urochische Hutor Stepnoi in Kursk area) were officially given a status of prospecting sites of the Emerald Network. Such decision was made by the Executive Committee of the Convention on Conservation of Wildlife and Natural Environment in Strasbourg on November 30, 2012 (based on the proposals of the Central Chernozem State Nature Reserve).

The reserve area is 5287,4 ha. Streletsky and Kazatsky plots are standard non-tilled meadow steppes on chernozem soil combined with oak forests. The scientists call the places of Bukreevy Barmy and Barkalovka, having the relict flora of chalk hills, “a country of live fossils”. Two more places of the reserve (bottomland) are Zorinsky plot with sphagnum bogs and a floodplain of the Psel river.

The reserve includes 2477 ha of forest, 2096 ha of steppes and meadows, 347 ha of water and bogs, 367,4 ha of other biotopes. There are 1260 species of flora, 209 species of birds and 46 species of mammals in the reserve.

Kursk region is one of the most beautiful nature nook.

The territory of the region is rich in plants which were widely spread in the past and nowadays they can be found in a small quantity in some places and are related to the protected plants of Kursk region.

They are the following: wood daphne, Zavadsky dendranthema, Kozo-Polyansky rock jasmine; plants which are used in medicinal purposes (Russian valerian, drug centaury), beautifully blooming white water-lily and lush carnation or plants that are on the extreme border of their spreading (northern species: cowberry, cranberry, European spruce; southern species: thin-leaved peony, Tatar chestnut, Ukrainian feather-grass).

The conservation of the biological and landscape variety is impossible without the realization of an effective system connected with specially protected nature conservation areas, within the limits of which many species of extinctive animals and plants included in the Red Book of RF and Kursk region are spread.

Specially protected nature conservation areas are related to the objects of the national property.

As of 01.01.2015 there are 12 specially protected nature conservation areas of regional significance here.

1. The specially protected nature conservation area of regional significance "Pushkaro-Zhadinsky Deposit of Medical Peats" is situated on the territory of a municipal formation of "Pushkarsky Village Soviet" in Korenevo area and has a category of a medical-sanitary locality.

The nearest analogies of the Pushkaro-Zhadinskiy Deposit of Medical Peats are such popular deposits as "Lipetskoye" (Lipetsk region), "Yuhovskoye" of "Dorohovo" health resort (Moscow region) and "Palanga" health resort (Latvia).

2. The specially protected nature conservation area of regional significance "Pogrebennaya Mikulinskaya Paleobalka in the Quarry of Alexandrovsky Loam Deposit" has a category of a geological nature monument, is situated 10 km to the south from Kursk in-between Seym (the left bank) and Mlodat rivers, is an extant fragment of an erosive net of the previous interglacial period. It is an important scientific, demonstrational and educational object of the quaternary geology, paleography, evolutionary geography, soil science, geomorphology, geoecology and engineering geology.

3. The specially protected nature conservation area of regional significance "Zheleznogorsky Dendrological Park" has a category of a dendrological park.
Zheleznogorsk arboretum created by human was laid in 1996 in one of the outskirts of the town in the middle of a natural forest in honour of the 40th anniversary of Zheleznogorsk.

Nowadays Zheleznogorsky dendrological park is deservedly among the regional natural landmarks and is considered to be one of the most interesting places of the nightingale land. The park square (2,4 ha) has not changed since its creation, but during these years 500 species of fancy coniferous and deciduous trees, shrubs and wood lianas from all corners of the world have found their place in 34 sectors of the park. Each of 34 sectors is interesting and extraordinary in its own way. The majority of plants of the dendropark are exotic, rare and extinctive ones.

4. The specially protected nature conservation area of regional significance "The First Borehole of Kursk Magnetic Anomaly" has a category of a nature monument. The square of the territory is 1,24 ha. It is situated in Prigorodnensky Village Soviet of Schigri area.

The singularity of this nature monument is in its maximum magnetic and gravitation anomaly, which was found out by the first geophysical study in 1919 that served as a ground for making the first borehole particularly in this place in 1921.

5. The specially protected nature conservation area of regional significance the "Urochische "Gornal" has a category of a nature monument. The urochische is situated in Sudzha area 14,0 km to the south-west from the regional centre of Sudzha town, between the villages of Gornal and Guevo.

The urochische is one of the places with high concentration of rare and protected species of plants and animals in Kursk region, and it is the only habit area of some rare species of plants in the whole Psyol river basin.

6. The specially protected nature conservation area of regional significance the "Urochische of "Borki" Bog" has a category of a nature monument. The nature monument is situated in Sudzha area of Kursk region in the left-bank part of a valley of the Psyol river, between populated localities of Borki and Plehovo. Its square is 596,7341 ha.

 This specially protected nature conservation area is a left-bank plot of a valley of the Psyol river. It consists of low-lying bogs, flood-reservoirs and willow-beds, black alder thickets, plots of an above-flood terrace partly covered by pine plantings, slopes of the valley of the Psyol river.

7. The specially protected nature conservation area of regional significance the "Klyukvennoye Lake" has a category of a nature monument. The lake is situated in Sudzha area 14 km to the south-east from Sudzha town and 1 km to the west from Nizhnemahovo village.

The lake has an oval shape stretched to the east. Its length from the west to the east is 560 m, from the north to the south - 440 m, the maximum depth is 5-6 m. The nature monument is unique in growing of relic species of plants of the afterglacial age and also in a great number of boreal (northern) species of vascular plants and mosses, which are timed to peat moss bogs and are rare for the Central Black Earth Region.

8. The specially protected nature conservation area of regional significance the Urochische "Melovoye" has a category of a nature monument. The urochishe is situated in Sudzha area of Kursk region between Melovoy farmstead and Kurilovka village.

The nature monument was created with the purpose of conservation of a unique complex of steppe vegetation with plots of feather-grass steppe which is the inhabitation of rare flora and fauna species in Kursk region including the species from the Red Book of the Russian Federation.

9. The specially protected nature conservation area of regional significance the Urochische “Krutoy Log" has a category of a nature monument. The urochische is located in the north-western part of Kursk central administrative district and occupies two plots with a total area of 217,2344 ha.

The Urochische “Krutoy Log" is an artificial forestland situated on a spacious ravine territory with different, mainly steep slopes, where some work was carried out to create protective forestlands with the purpose of prevention of water soil erosion.

10. The specially protected nature conservation area of regional significance the Urochische "Petrova Balka" has a category of a nature monument. The urochische of 62,96 ha is situated in Gorshechnoye area of Kursk region in the south-western part of Nizhniye Borki village.

The territory of the nature monument is a ravine complex located in the rightbank valley of the Ublya river. The slopes of ravines and gullies are covered with steppe groups including such different types of steppes as feather-grass, thyme and edge-steppe.

11. The specially protected nature conservation area of regional significance the "Flora Sandstones in the Neighbourhood of Molotichi Village" has a category of a nature monument and is situated 1,0 km to the north-east from Molotichi village of Fatezh area in Kursk region between the Svapa river and its left tributary - the Molotichi river.

The "stone chronicles" of the Earth are imprinted in a concentrated state in this nature monument. The testimonies of geological processes in the history of our planet have been fixed from the present to the retrospective of million and billion years.

12. The specially protected nature conservation area of regional significance the "Baring of Flora Sandstones" has a category of a nature monument. The flora sandstones are situated in Tim settlement of Tim area in Kursk region at the far end of K. Marx street in a ravine.

The scientists estimate the age of the sandstones with the prints of heat-loving flora located in Molotichi village of Tim settlement as late-eocene - early-oligicene (more than 30 million years ago).

There are about 50 species of ancient plants from 35 generas, mainly of subtropical flora that resembles up-to date southern-eastern Asia forests. 
The sandstones are rich not only in prints of oak-tree, maple, lime-tree, ash-tree, but also in such plants of humid subtropics as magnolia, laurel, ficus, oleander, platan, sequoia and others.

Land Resources

Favourable climatic conditions and fertile soil make the land resources of Kursk region particularly valuable. Nature awarded the unique riches – the most fertile chernozem soil - to our land.The sample of Kursk chernozem has been kept in the “Museum of Soils” in Paris from the last century. It is also kept in the “Museum of Natural History” in Amsterdam and in the “Museum of Soil Science” near Leipzig. Kursk chernozem soil is one of the main sources of the regional economic development.

During many centuries various peculiarities of soil and climate made it possible to use land potential for growing of different crop and to bring in rich harvest covering the requirements of the population both of our region and of the other regions.

There is 2,999 million ha of land in Kursk region. Total area of land used for agricultural production is 2,4 million ha, including 1,9 million ha of tillage.

Forest Resources

The woods of Kursk region relate to protection forests and are of great protective, water-protective, sanitary and hygienic, environmental value.

The regional woodland is not uniform. The majority of forests is located in the west of the region; the less part of them is in the extreme east. The percentage of forest land averages out at 8,2%, including 10,1% of protective plantations.

The territory of the region is mainly occupied with foliage forests. Oak, birch, aspen, alder grooves and willow beds are particularly widespread.

Unhomogeneous pine (coniferous) forests are in the southwest of the region. Planted pine forests, that are located mainly on the left-bank sandy terraces of the Siem, the Svapa and the Psel rivers, can be seen in many areas of the region.

Specially allocated forest genetic reserves (686,5 ha) function as the places that keep the genofond of woods in natural ecotopes of Kursk region.

On the territory there are 13 forestries and 18 operating nurseries 194,6 ha in area. The methods of growing of more than 100 varieties and forms of wood and dumetosous species were mastered.

Water Resources

Kursk land is situated in the basins of the Dnieper and the Don rivers (78% and 22% of the regional territory respectively). In the region there are 902 permanent and temporary watercourses, including 188 ones that are more than 10 km long.

The Siem (the Desna feeder), with its Tuskar and Svapa feeders, and also the Psel (the Dnieper feeder) are the biggest rivers belonging to the Dnieper basin. The Don basin is represented by the upper reaches of the Tim, the Kshen, the Olym rivers (all of them are the feeders of the Sosna river) and the Oskol (a feeder of the Seversky Donets river).

There are no large lakes and bogs in the region.

In addition there are 561 artificial ponds and reservoirs, including 150 ones having the water volume of more than 1 million m3 and 4 reservoirs which volume exceeds 30 million m3.

There are no surface water bodies used for drinking water supply in the region. The population uses many water reservoirs for the recreational purpose.

The Siem is the major water artery used for the recreational purpose. It runs in seven areas of the region and in Kursk.

The majority of surface water bodies are of great nature resource, nature conservation and recreational importance.

Recreation areas, beaches and places for hunting and fishing were arranged on the banks of water reservoirs within large populated localities.

There are deposits of ground fresh drinking water and one deposit of ground mineral water in Kursk region.

Towns and other settlements of the region are supplied with water only from ground water. The regional population is supplied with water mainly from ground water of Turon-Maastricht, Alb-Senoman, Bath-Callovian and Ryazhsk water-bearing stratum. The maximum of ground water is extracted from Alb-Senoman water-bearing stratum, which makes up about 67% of total amount of produced water.

Potential resources of drinking ground water reserves are 0,8 km3/day or 0,8 km3/year. A module of predictable resources is 0,91 l/s/km2.

Ground water reserves of Kursk region make up 1230,62 thousand m3/day including 1186,82 thousand m3/day of on-balance reserves of drinking ground water in 142 deposits and 43,80 thousand m3/day of off-balance reserves.

As on 01.01.2015 the withdrawal of ground water amounted to 273,09 thousand m3/day.

The region is supplied with ground water resources for the nearest 25-30 years at existing rate of water withdrawal.


Mineral ground water was explored in Khalino deposit of Kursk area. The Territorial Committee for Natural Reserves approved its useful resources at the rate of 0,5 m3/day at first. In 2009 a hydrogeological survey was finished. It was carried out in order to re-value ground mineral water resources of the deposit. The State Committee for Natural Resources re-approved ground mineral water resources of B category at the rate of 48 m3/day. The estimated field life is 25 years.

The chemical composition of the ground mineral water of Archean-Proterozoic Water-Bearing Complex is low-mineralized, sodium chloride and alkalescent. The mineralization is about 3,5 g/l.

Organoleptic and microbiologic properties of the mineral water meet the normative requirements. It can be used for drinking during medical treatment in sanatorium institutions and also for industrial bottling. Industrial bottling of mineral water was started at Khalino deposit in 2007 (“Kursk Adamant” trademark).

Mineral natural table drinking water is bottled up 20 km far from Kursk in a landscape-and-service complex of “Zhuravlino”. It is manufactured under “Zhuravlinskaya” trademark and relates to a hydrocarbonate magnesium-calcium group.


Solid Minerals

Natural mineral resources of Kursk region are unique by volume and diversity. The resources can satisfy the needs for some raw materials not only of our region but also of other ones.

Our region became world-famous almost a century ago after the discovery and research of Kursk Magnetic Anomaly (KMA). In 2013 it will be the 90th anniversary (April 7, 1923) of raising the first core of iron ore out of borehole №1 of OK KMA near the town of Shchigry. This event marked the beginning of KMA development and lifted the veil on the centuries-old secret of anomalies of a magnetic field.

The lower structural stage of anteclise includes unique iron ore deposits, ore occurrences and geochemical anomalies of noble, rare and nonferrous metals, mineral water occurrences and deposits.

As regards nonmetal minerals (the upper structural stage) there were discovered and explored the deposits of phosphorite, peat, sapropel (including therapeutic mud), groundwater for domestic water supply, various building materials including raw material for cement making (marl, chalk, loam and clay); low-melting clay and loam for production of brick, claydite, tile and ceramic ware; high-melting clay for production of facing brick, ceramic tiles and sanitary ware; quartz sand for building mortars, production of lime-sand brick and aerated concrete, glasswork and foundry; chalk for production of construction lime, liming of acid soils and feeding of animals; marl and tripoli for production of brick and artificial concrete aggregates; marl for production of mineral cotton and stone casting. Some occurrences of brown coal, glauconite, zeolite, rare-earth elements and mineral paints are known (table 1).

Table 1

Minerals of Kursk region




Number of deposits entered in the State Register of Reserves and their resources


including a distributed fund of subsurface

the remainder of on-balance reserves as of 01.01.2015

Mineral raw material of federal significance (deposit, million tons)


Iron ore




Mineral raw material of regional significance (deposit, million tons)







Cement raw material





High-melting clay





Glass-making sand






Chalk, raw material for sugar industry




Widespread mineral deposits


Loam and low-melting clay, marl, tripoli for brick production, thousand m3





Loam and low-melting clay for claydite, thousand m3





Chalk for building lime, thousand tons





Chalk for liming of soils (chemical melioration), thousand m3





Mortar and lime sand, thousand m3





Building stone (oxidized and poor-ore ferruginous quartzite, conglomerate, quartz porphyry, metasandstone), thousand tons











Peat, thousand tons





Sapropel, thousand tons




Ground water


Fresh water, thousand m3/day





Mineral water, m3/day





1. Iron ore is concentrated in more than 30 deposits, beds and occurrences situated along three strong magnetic anomalies of Kursk Magnetic Anomaly. The anomalies stretch in the northwestern direction and prove the presence of iron ore.

Mikhailovsky iron ore deposit is the only one where iron ore is mined by an open-pit method. It is located in Zheleznogorsk area in the northwest of Kursk region. The ore is deposited in Precambrian metamorphogene formations of a crystalline foundation. As on 01.01.2015 there are the following reserves (in a perspective pit boundary) of (А+В+С1)+С2 categories in the vertical zonality top-down: 13100,7 million tons of high-grade ore of residual soil, oxidized quartzite and unoxidized (magnetite) quartzite.

OAO “Mikhailovsky GOK” Mining Enterprise processes and manufactures iron ore products.

ОАО “Mikhailovsky GOK” is provided with the reserves (according to the actual output of А+В+С1 category) of high-grade iron ore for 42 years and with unoxidized ferruginous quartzite reserves for 95 years (in a final pit boundary - for 12 and 62 years respectively).

At the present time the ore-dressing and processing enterprise provides the metallurgical works of the Center of Russia, the Urals, Western Siberia and also some countries of the near and far abroad with iron-ore raw materials.

2. Non-ferrous and Precious Metal Ore, Rare Ore and Elements

In the region quite a number of occurrences and deposits of polymetallic minerals, gold, platinum, titanium, zirconium, yttrium, cerium, diamonds and other elements was explored. Some deposits were explored preliminarily and can be used for a detailed exploration and possible further mining.

3. Brown coal is in the southern areas of the region. Oboyan-Ivnyansko-Lyubostanskoye occurrence contains 323,0 million tons of resources and 248,0 million tons of predicted reserves. It is a useful stratum of lower carboniferous age. It consists of 4 layers having height from 0,2 to 6,9 m. Coal of poor quality (ash content is up to 40,5%, sulfur content is up to 6,2%) is deeply buried (at an average of 350-400 m) in difficult mining and hydrogeological conditions.

4. Phosphorites

The significance of phosphatic fertilizers has been increasing year by year.

At the end of the 19th century the first extraction of phosphorites took place and an attempt to organize their processing and dressing was made in Kursk area. But the extraction was stopped because of the complexity of the production process and lack of necessary equipment.

In the thirties of the last century the development of phosphorites and production of phosphate flour were started very actively in Dmitriev and Shchigry areas. In Shchigry area the minerals were mined by an underground mine method and then by an open-pit method till the seventies of the 20th century. The quality of received flour concentrate containing up to 20% of Р2О5 met all modern requirements. But the exploitation of the deposit was stopped because the particular attention was turned to manufacture of phosphate fertilizers on the basis of apatite ore.

However, today in the region the following 11 phosphorite deposits have been explored and entered in the State Register of Reserves: 99,1 million tons of С1 category (explored reserves) and 30,9 million tons of С2 category (inferred reserves). Off-balance reserves of these deposits and additional twenty explored occurrences of phosphorite ore have been estimated at 156,2 million tons.

Today the explored deposits can provide the long-term operation of several medium-productivity ore mills with raw materials in full.

The additional work on testing phosphorites, overburdens and deads in “Ukolovskoye” deposit of Zolotukhino area facilitated a multiple use of overburdens, the application of possible variants of processing and dressing of phosphorites, the use of mill tailing as valuable supplementary agrochemical raw materials, the maximum reduction of environmental load and reclamation of soil. By analogy with “Ukolovskoye” deposit the suggested techniques can be recommended for the development of some more nearby deposits.

Today Kursk Phosphorite Company, which had a license to develop Ukolovskoye phosphorite deposit, stopped the right to use the resources ahead of time without even starting their development.

5. High-Melting Clay

High-melting clay was only explored thoroughly in Bolshaya Karpovka deposit in Sovetsky area. Commercial reserves amounted to 35,3 million tons as of 01.01.2015. The deposit is mined by ООО “Plast-Impulse” company. The exploited deposits of А+В+С1 categories amounted to 2710 thousand tons as of 01.01.2015. In 2014 the volume of mining made up 505 thousand tons. The main consumers of clay raw materials are Zheleznogorsk Brick Factory, the enterprises of Kaluga, Tambov, Ivanovo and Nizhny Novgorod regions.

Nicholaevsky deposit (Kastornoye area) of high-melting clay is promising for development. Its resources are not entered in the Register of Reserves. С2 category reserves amount to 30200 thousand tons and predicted Р1 reserves make up 73400 thousand tons.

6. Zeolite. In the recent years there have been some positive results of zeolite evaluation in the eastern part of the occurrence of santonian rocks of the upper chalk (Kursk area). Based on the results three places were selected, namely Khalino-1, Khalino-2 and Zhernovetz, on the area of 450 km2 where the reserves of zeolite raw materials of С1 and С2 categories were evaluated and calculated. The volume was 125,0 million tons, 12,0 million tons and 102,0 million tons respectively.

In addition, three more places were explored and selected at the expense of the federal funds: Novo-Sergievsky, Esenki and Vinnikovo (Kursk and Shchigry areas). There the reserves of zeolite-containing marl were calculated with the following results: 3,9 million tons of С1 category, 13,0 million tons of С2 and 13,4 million tons of Р1. The resources of tripoli-like clay of С1 category amounted to 172,8 thousand tons and the one of Р1 category - 1,6 million tons.

By estimation of FGUP «CNIIgeolnerud», zeolite-containing marl meets the requirements of additives to fodder used in animal husbandry and poultry keeping, meliorants and prolongators of organic fertilizers applied in agriculture, and also material used in some fields of building industry (making of cement and ceramics). Tripoli clay can be applied as macroporous powder adsorptive raw material for water cleaning, environmental purposes and in some fields of building industry (ceramics).

7. Molding and Glass-Making Sand

In 1962-1963 during exploration and inspection of occurrence of molding materials in Kursk region the molding sand was found at the following explored deposits of mortar sand: Zorinskoye deposit (Oboyan area), Novy Buzets and Ratmanovskoye deposits (Zheleznogorsk area), Oktyabrskoye (Rylsk area) and Poima (Oktyabrsky area) deposits. The following quantity and categories of reserves of Sekerinsky deposit, which was explored additionally later, were entered in the State Register of Reserves: 11506 thousand tons of А+B+C1 categoriesof glass-making sand (a distributed fund of subsurface). The reserves of molding sand, which were not included in the State Register of Reserves (an undistributed fund of subsurface), are the following: С1 – 37209,0 thousand tons, С2 – 87731,0 thousand tons. In 2003 ООО «Kurskstekloplast», which had carried out the supplementary exploration of the site, received a license to use the subsurface resources in the south-western part of Sekerinsky deposit (a distributed fund of subsurface). Based on the results of pilot tests a sand beneficiation scheme was elaborated. The scheme made it possible to obtain sand of C-070 and ВC-050 grades from glass-making sand according to GOST 22551-77. The site was prepared for commercial development.

In addition 2 deposits of molding sand, containing in total 137870,0 thousand tons of estimated resources of C2 category, were also discovered due to geological-and-prospecting and prospecting-and-estimating work carried out during some years.

8. Cement raw materials were explored in six deposits having 183,0 million tons of total reserves. But two of them, namely Ryshkovsky chalk deposit 2 (Kursk area) and Shchigry part of Shchigrovsky phosphorite deposit (chalk and marl reserves are in overburden) that had been approved by the All-Union Commission for Mineral Reserves as far back as 1947, lost their commercial significance and were removed from the State Register of Reserves.

Four deposits were entered in the State Register of Reserves, namely Russko-Konopelskoye deposit of chalk and loam (59138 thousand tons of chalk of А+В+С1, 22662 thousand tons of С2 chalk, 5640 thousand tons of loam of А+В+С1) and Pushkarskoye loam deposit (8857 thousand tons of А+В+С1, 1210 thousand tons of С2). They are in Sudzha area having favorable mining and hydrogeological conditions. Solntsevskoye-2 chalk deposit (20297 thousand tons of А+В+С1) and Mashnino marl deposit (54185 thousand tons of А+В+С1) are in the same favorable conditions in Solntzevo area.

The cement obtained during in-process tests of chalk+loam and chalk+marl mixtures with the use of corrective additives met the requirements of 500 grades and higher grades. Raw material reserves of the given deposits amount to 171,99 million tons. There are deposits with raw material for cement production in Kursk, Manturovo, Shchigry and some other areas.

In spite of availability of large-scale deposits of cement raw material and good prospects for the increase in the reserves, there are no cement plants in the region. Cement is delivered mainly from Belgorod and Voronezh regions.

9. Clay raw material for brick and tile is the most widely spread type of low-melting raw materials and is timed to the mantle of the Quaternary system. In addition to Quaternary loam and clay the deposits of tripoli and marl were explored as possible raw material. They are timed to Pre-Quaternary formations of a sedimentary cover.

As of 01.01.2015, 94 deposits and beds of clay raw material, 3 deposits and 15 beds of tripoli-and-carbonate raw material for brick production were registered in Kursk region.

The State Register of Reservesincludes 62 deposits and 1 subsoil plot of local importance of clay raw material (18 deposits are mined and are in a distributed fund of subsurface) and 3 deposits of tripoli-and-carbonate raw material (2 deposits are in a distributed fund of subsurface), which total reserves amount to 62390,19 thousand m3 of А+В+С1 category, 4796,41 thousand m3 of С2 category, including two tripoli deposits with 4703 thousand m3 ofА+В+С1 reserves and 2679 tons of С1 marl reserves of Lyushinskoye deposit, as of 01.01.2015.

44 deposits having 41056,4 thousand m3 of on-balance reserves of А+В+С1 category, 2354 thousand m3 of С2 reserves, including 1325 thousand m3 of tripoli reserves of А+В+С1 category, were recorded on the State Register of Reserves.

The largest deposits are the following: Dronyevskoye, Zheleznogorskoye, Kotovo-Gudovskoye, Lyushinskoye, Medvenskoye, Mikhailovskoye, Pashkovskoye and Timskoye 2 deposits containing more than 2000 thousand m3 of raw material reserves.

The raw materials of the majority of deposits make it possible to produce brick of 100-150 grades provided that methods of raw material processing recommended by laboratories are observed and that corrective additives are used where required.

There are explored deposits of brick raw material in all areas of the region. This means that there are practically unlimited possibilities of increase in raw material base of the given raw material.

10. Claydite Raw Material

In the region the claydite raw material is explored in Novoselovskoye deposit of clay and claydite. At the present time only two regional enterprises produce claydite, namely, OOO “Kursk Plant of Construction Claydite” (Kursk) and OOO “Stroipostavka” (Oktyabrsky area). They exploit the deposit jointly. The deposit relates to a group of large-scale deposits. As of 01.01.2015, the on-balance reserves of В+С1 categories amount to 383,4 thousand m3.In addition to it in the south flank there are 1130 thousand m3 (514,0 thousand m3 of a distributed fund) of predicted reserves of С1 category and 8090 thousand m3 of C2 category.

On-balance reserves make it possible to provide the existing enterprises with raw material for a 10-year period (at current annual output of 45 thousand m3 of raw material). In case of increase in productivity there will be raw material shortage. As a consequence, preliminary estimated reserves will require additional exploration.

During the recent years a field of claydite application has changed. It is not practically used as heat insulating material. The majority of claydite is applied in production of concrete products and claydite blocks.

The following deposits are interesting for their raw materials in Kursk and the region: Pozhidaevskoye (Shchigry area), Bolshebobrovskoye and Ratmanovskoye (Zheleznogorsky area) deposits, Volobuevskoye and Kastorenskoye (Kursk area), Manturovskoye (Manturovo area) and Oboyanskoye (Oboyan area) prospecting sites.

11. Chalk

Deposits of carbonate raw material were timed to Campanian-Maastricht, Santonian and Turonian-Coniacian Stages of the Cretaceous system. Lithologically they are represented by chalk and marl that are widely spread in the region.

17 deposits and 5 promising occurrences were explored in the region, as of 01.01.2015. 15 deposits were entered in the Register of Reserves and only 3 deposits are in a distributed fund (Belitskoye, Dmitrievskoye and Kotovo-Gudovskoye deposits) and are being prepared for exploitation.

In 1935-2009 there were some geological explorations in order to find deposits of raw material for manufacture of limestone meal for liming (chemical amelioration) of acidic soils, for production of building lime, cement, mineral feed for animals and birds, ceramic brick, and for its application in sugar, paint-and-varnish, rubber and perfume industries. The region has good prospects for exploration of deposits of carbonate raw material for different application.

On-balance reserves include 12 chalk deposits that are a source of raw materials for production of building lime. They contain 64800,86 thousand tons of reserves of А+В+С1 category, including 22214,86 thousand tons of А+В+С1 reserves of a distributed fund in 3 deposits and 2 subsoil plots of local importance. 3 explored deposits containing 12955,3 thousand tons of total reserves of А+В+С1 category and 2 occurrences containing 3129,7 thousand tons of С2 reserves were not entered in the Register of Reserves. The quality of chalk from all deposits is suitable for production of low magnesium, quick slaking, highly exothermic air-hardening lime of the 1st grade of A and B classes. Before the 21st century the lime was produced by an outdated method of burning of lump chalk in shaft furnaces in Kursk region. Though only 25-30% of regional demands was satisfied. By 2000 all building lime production in Kursk region was stopped. Building lime is delivered from Belgorod and Voronezh regions.

Three deposits (Leski, Pogozhee and Semenosvskoye) have been explored and are recorded on the register of reserves in the region for agricultural needs. Their reserves are used for production of limestone meal for liming (chemical amelioration) of acidic soils. At the same time the reserves were evaluated for application as mineral feed of animals and birds. Total on-balance reserves of А+В+С1 category amount to 4490 thousand m3 . From 1993 the deposits have been registered in the State Register of Reserves. Their development is not planned in the near future. In addition to it 3 deposits were evaluated. Their total reserves are the following: С1 category – 672 thousand m3, С2 category – 4530 thousand m3.

Belitsky site of Belitsky chalk deposit has been entered in the Register of Reserves since 1959 as raw material for sugar industry. But it has not been used as intended till present time.

12. Building and Silica Sand

Sand is the basis of production of construction organizations in the region; that is why it is of great interest. It is one of the most needed and spread nonmetalliferous raw material. Geologically it is timed both to the Quaternary stratum and to the Pre-Quaternary one. The largest deposits are the following: Anahinskoye, Gromashevskoye, Lipinskoye, Ratmanovskoye and Novy Busets deposits.

As of 01.01.2015, 84 deposits, beds, sites and occurrences of building sand were explored in Kursk region, including 56 on-balance deposits and 12 subsoil plots of local importance with the following total reserves: А+В+С1 – 111177,1 thousand m3; С2 – 15812,40 thousand m3. 48 deposits are mined. Their distributed fund of on-balance reserves makes up the following: А+В+С1 – 60011,50 thousand m3; С2 – 4279,50 thousand m3.

In the region there are 11 prospected deposits (sites, beds) of building sand that were not entered in the State Register of Reserves. Their total reserves and predicted resources are the following: А+В+С1 – 16011,4 thousand m3, С2 –2794,0 thousand m3, Р1 – 30667,0 thousand m3.

In addition to it 32 promising occurrences (places, deposits) were discovered during geological-and-prospecting and prospecting-and-evaluating work of different years. Their inferred reserves are the following: С2 category – 45514,6 thousand m3, Р1 category – 46724,3 thousand m3.

Sand is widely used in building. It is applied for production of heavy weight concrete, foamed concrete, cellular concrete, sand-lime brick, wall blocks, mortar and asphalt concrete. It is used for filling of roadbed and road slopes.

In spite of wide spread occurrence of sand raw material and good geological knowledge of the territory there are no sand deposits which quality meets the requirements of GOST 10268-70 “Aggregate of heavy weight concrete” in the region.

Since the region requires a lot of such raw material, the casting yards use fine-grained sand as concrete aggregate and outspend up to 10-15% of cement. The deposits explored for this purpose are exploited mainly by hydro-mechanical method. There is some sand enrichment due to washing away of clay, oozy and dust particles and fractions of less than 0,16 mm in size by such method. But enriched sand does not meet the norms of the corresponding standard of concrete aggregates.

In Kursk region there are prospects of discovering new deposits of building sand that is suitable both in natural form and being enriched for construction purposes and for application as fine aggregate of concrete.


13. Building Stones. There was always an acute deficiency in stone construction material in the region. Prospecting of this raw material took place from 1931 till 1980. During this period some sites, occurrences and deposits of sandstone were discovered and explored. They are located among sand strata of the Palaeogene. All of them relate to very small deposits. Sandstone usually meets the requirements of standards for production of crushed stone to be used in concrete and rubble stone. But since a useful stratum is represented by separate isolated sites having the size from tens to hundreds of square meters and occurring at different depths at considerable thickness of overburdens, the sites were considered to be not very promising for discovery of large deposits of building stones in a sedimentary cover. Such sandstone can be used and was used for local requirements. Two licenses to extract sandstone in Rylsk area were granted in 2006-2009. Sandstone has not been extracted till now.

The prospects of discovering profitable deposits of building stone in basement rocks are very limited because the crystalline basement is at the depth of 120-200 and more meters. During exploration of Mikhailovsky iron-ore deposit the crushed oxidized quartzite was evaluated and found suitable as material of road base and surface, concrete aggregate, airfield pavement, house footing, reinforced concrete products and structures.

In 1985 building stone reserves were calculated along with recalculation of reserves of iron-ore raw material. Building stone reserves are represented by poor-ore quartzite, conglomerate, quartz porphyry, metasandstone and slates of western and eastern flanks of a deposit. They will be exploited only after 2016. The State Reserves Committee of the USSR approved building stone reserves (record № 9874 of 01.01.1985) of С2 category in the amount of 90112 thousand m3.

14. Mineral Paints

Loosehematite-martite iron ore (rich iron ore) was explored to be used as raw material for mineral paints in 1963-1966. Loose rich iron ore in a natural form was found to be suitable as raw material for production of iron minium and as a pigment in calcimine and brick-and-concrete paints.

15. Peat

As of 01.01.2015 there are 207 peat deposits entered in the Register of Peat Reserves of Kursk region, including 99 ones of more than 10 ha in area and 108 ones of less than 10 ha within the peat deposit depths. 29563 thousand tons of on-balance peat reserves of А+В+С1+С2 categories are located in 62 deposits 10 ha in area. Off-balance peat reserves amount to 14874 thousand tons; predicted peat resources of Р1 category make up 3877 thousand tons. The deposits are represented by woody, wood-reed and reed peat of valley type.

Peat can be used not only as fuel and organic fertilizer but also for medicinal and preventive purposes. 873 thousand m3 of balance reserves of medicinal peat were explored in Pushkaro-Zhadinskoye deposit.

16. Sapropels are sedimentary layers of water ponds. They were explored in 12 deposits having total resources of 1696 thousand tons at conditional humidity of 60%. These prospects are concentrated in the western areas of the region. The composition of the organic mass and chemical properties of sapropel make it possible to use it in agriculture as fertilizers, mineral-vitamin additives to mixed fodder and for production of pelleted feed on the basis of grass flour. Their reserves amount to 19,5 thousand tons according to the results of sapropel estimation on Zheltoye lake in Korenevo area.

According to their properties they relate to freshwater sulfide-free, high-ash, calcareous sapropelic mud that is similar to the mud of “Samotsvet” resort in Sverdlovo region. Sapropel extraction can satisfy needs of all sanatorium institutions in Kursk region and neighboring areas.


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