Mineral Map of the Republic of Armenia

Armenia has a long history of mineral exploration and mining dating back to the times of Alexander the Great. In recent years, exploration activities and mining investment has been on the increase, companies such as Dundee Precious Metals, US-companies Freeport-McMoRan, Cronimet, and Lydian have established exploration and production operations in Armenia.

Armenia was a major producer of molybdenum, ranking seventh in the world in mine output in 2006 (Magyar, 2008). Besides molybdenum, Armenia produced other metals, including copper, gold, lead, silver, and zinc; and industrial minerals, including basalt, diatomite, granite, gypsum, limestone, and perlite. The country also produced aluminum foil using raw materials imported from Russia and had developed a diamond cutting industry based on imported rough diamond. Amajor part of the country’s mine production was exported. Armenia had almost no domestic fuel production and relied for electric power on a domestic nuclear powerplant and hydroelectric plants. It imported fuel for its nuclear powerplant and natural gas from Russia.

Armenia possesses significant resources of copper, gold, iron, lead, molybdenum, and zinc. It also has resources of construction material, such as basalt, granite, limestone, marble, tuff, and so forth; semiprecious stones, such as agate, jasper, obsidian, and so forth; and other nonmetallic minerals, such as bentonite, diatomite, perlite, and zeolite.

The copper, copper-molybdenum, and copper-polymetallic deposits that occur in the north of Armenia contain about 475 million metric tons (Mt) of ore. The Zangezur copper-molybdenum complex possesses large molybdenum reserves, which are concentrated in the Kadzharan porphyry deposit.