Ore Deposits

Section of PaleontologySection of Volcanology
Section of MineralogySection of Ore Deposits
Section of PetrographySection of Mineral Waters

Ore Deposits Section

Since ancient times, a number of copper, lead, silver, and gold mines have been exploited in Armenia. Fe mines have been exploited since 2nd century B.C. 

The Ore Deposits Section in the Museum was formulated in 1937, on the threshold of the XVII International Geological Congress, within the frames of the exhibition. The exhibition was organized by the Geological Institute. The number of the samples: 3579. 

In 1945, with the efforts of the Geological Institute employees, the Museum sections were incrementally supplemented with new samples. The samples, contributed to the Museum by Academicians H. G. Maghakyan and K. N. Paffenholtz, are particularly notable. 

The Museum exhibits metallic and non-metallic ore deposits from the RA and different countries around the world. Currently, temporary exhibitions based on donations are organized, for example: the samples exhibition sent in 1952 by Dr. Friedrich Otto, from Freiberg Mining Academy, University of Technology, Mineralogical Museum (Germany). As a result, the NAS RA IGS Museum has been hosting 145 samples from 24 countries, namely: Germany, France, Austria, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Norway, Romania, Greece, Serbia, South-American Bolivia, the USA, Canada, Chile, Brazil, South-African Namibia, Russia, Greenland, etc. 

Around 871 mines (43 metallic, 760 non-metallic, 44 underground drinking waters, and 24 mineral waters), as well as 580 ore manifestation (131 metallic and 449 non-metallic) are currently calculated in Armenia. All the main groups of metallic ore deposits of the RA – non ferrous, ferrous, precious metals (more than 130 types) – are exhibited in the Museum.

Out of the non ferrous metals discovered in the territory of Armenia, copper occupies the first place from the practical significance perspective. Copper deposits in the territory of South Armenia are mostly concentrated in Kapan, Kajaran, Agarak mines. In the northern part of Armenia Alaverdi and Shamlugh mines are of particular importance.

Among the non ferrous metals discovered in the territory of Armenia the role of molybdenum is highly important from practical significance perspective. 

It is significant that 4% of molybdenum world reserves are located in Syunik region. Kajaran, Teghut, and Agarak mines are the most well-known ones.

Polymetallic-gold mines have an industrial significance for Armenia. Akhtala, Shahumyan, Armanis mines are among the notable ones.

Gold mines are located in Gegharkunik, Kotayk, and Lori regions. Currently, Sotk mine (Gegharkunik region) is the most significant one. Meghradzor, Lichqvaz-tei, and Terterasar gold mining are put into operation. 
Non-metallic ore deposits occupy a separate place in the Museum. It should be mentioned that on account of its reserves richness and diversity, Armenia occupies a primary place in the world. The rocks formed as a result of volcanic processes, such as tufa, perlite, pumice, zeolite, obsidian etc., have a special value and significance. 

Out of basalt, granite, nepheline syenite, marble types, the Museum exhibits samples such as travertine from Sali and Arteni villages (Vayots Dzor region), conglomerates of Cretaceous age from Zardanashen mine (Martuni region, Artsakh), marbles from Vardadzor, Arevsar, Sarentag.

More than 100 tufa, basalt, andesite mines are known in Armenia. According to their significance and quality characteristics, quartzite, carbonate, zeolite, volcanic scoria and pumice, clay, bentonite, diatomite, gypsum mines have an inestimable value.       

In the fossil fuel section the following samples are exhibited: coal mica schists with plants traces (Jajur coal mine), peat from Vardenis, Miocene age schists, anthracite (Kotayk region, Shorjur), oil samples from N1 borehole of Garni Shoraghbyur (depth: 3473-3589m, amount: 1 liter) and from Gegharkunik region Eranos village surroundings (year: 2000, amount: 10 gram).