Primorye abounds in natural resources. Specifics of its geological development had predetermined the presence of fuel and energy resources, its geological position and specific relief and climate to cause the presence of land, water, power, timber and recreational resources. There are many valuable substances—chemical compounds, salts and metals—in diluted form in seawater, and also mineral raw materials in bottom alluvial deposits.
COAL Coal deposits are associated with sedimentary rocks and with lengthy accumulation of organic masses. Nearly one hundred deposits have been revealed in Primorye with overall reserves of about 2.4 billion tons. Basic coal deposits include the Bikin, Pavlovsk, Shkotovo and Artiom brown coal fields, and Partizansk and Razdolonoye hard coal fields. Numerous coal deposits have complex hydrogeological conditions (small thickness and high flooding of coal layers). This hampers coal mining to make it more costly. At the same time, about 70% of coal reserves are suitable for open working.
NON-FERROUS AND PRECIOUS METALS. About thirty tin deposits are known in Primorye.
The basic tin ore deposits are located in Kavalerovo, Dalnegorsk and Krasnormeisk
Districts in the mountainous areas of Sikhote Alin. Concentrated in the
same regions are about fifteen deposits of polymetal ores containing plumb
and zinc, and also in small quantities copper, silver, bismuth and other
rare-earth metals. Tin-containing and polymetallic ores occur
very deep in bedrocks. Only over several small river valley sites, there
are outcrops of these ores in the form of detritus. Consequently, tin,
zinc and other concomitant metals are mined using closed techniques, in
In Krasnoarmeisk and Pozharskoye Districts of Primorye, there are several tungsten deposits, which also lie in bedrocks. Apart from tungsten, these ores contain copper, silver, gold, bismuth and other precious metals. Several silver deposits were found in the northeastern areas of Sikhote Alin.
Over fifty gold deposits have been prospected in Primorye. There are gold bearing deposits both in the south and north of the territory. About 60% of all gold reserves are in auriferous gravel along valleys of rivers Pogranichnaya, Fadeevka, Malaya Nesterovka, Sobolinaya Padj and Iziubrinaya.
MINING-GEOCHEMICAL RAW MATERIALS. Russia’s major boron (dotolite, boron-containing ores) deposit is located in the Dalnegorsk area. It is being worked by open techniques and can provide jobs for the processing enterprise for at least fifty years. The fluorspar used in metallurgic production is mined in Khorol District in Voznesenskoye and Pogranichnoye deposits. Apart from fluorspr, the ores of this deposit also contain rare metals: lithium, beryllium, tantalum and niobium. Marine geologists have discovered several phosphorite deposits with valuable mineral fertilizers on the continental slope of Japan Sea. However, their mining and assimilation know-how is a matter of the future.
BUILDING MATERIALS. Over one hundred deposits of various building materials and raw materials therefrom have been revealed in virtually all Primorye districts. Near Spassk, large limestone desposits are being worked. Limestone is a raw material for obtaining a most important building material, cement. The principal demands in building materials and large amounts of raw materials therefor are concentrated in the southern areas of Primorye. Deposits of limestone, various clays, building rocks, sand-gravel mixtures, caramsite and other raw materials have been prospected here. Any of these deposits possess large reserves and high quality of raw materials, and are accessible to transport. Yet, they are generally worked by open-cut mining, which disturbs landscapes. Hence, perfect mining know-how shall be used, and quarries restored after finishing off the deposits.
LAND RESOURCES. They are regarded
both as a territory for various activity and as major natural farming resources.
In Primorye, farming grounds occupy 1,637.5 ha, populated areas 522.7 ha
and industrial enterprises and roads 43`. 9 ha.
Unlike mineral or fuel resources, land resources are reusable. When you plow a field in strict conformity with the rules of farming technique, you can augment its fertility. Conversely, incorrect land use, especially on slopes, and inobservance of road construction regulations, leads to their degradation. Land resources are highly limited and expensive resources that must be taken care of and used sparingly.
TIMBER RESOURCES. Most of
Primorye’s territory is covered with forests. The forest-covered area comprises
12.3 million ha, and the total timber stock amounts to1.75 billion cu.
m. Primorye forests include many tree species, including the coniferous
pine, spruce, fur and larchwood; the soft-trunk species—the white birch,
aspen, and linden; and the hard leafy species—the oak, the ash, the elm,
and the yellow birch. All these species are used in the economy, but the
wood of coniferous species, notably that of the pine, is more valuable.
For this reason, pine cuttings are currently banned.
Forests consist of trees of various ages: some are quite young trees, others are large and reach maturity, and still others are ripe and even overripe, as foresters would put it. They are the very ones that should be felled in logging. Otherwise, such trees would start to dry up, die off and rot. Trees, conifers in particularly, grow slowly, for over 100 years. Up to 1.3-1.5 cu. m of timber grows over 1 ha annually, and about 17 million cu. m all over Primorye. Timber stocks on 1 ha are largest in cedar-broad-leaf forests (over 200 cu. m/ha). The average figure for Primorye is about 150 cu. m/ha.
Forests are beneficial to man in various ways, ranging from the possibility to obtain timber, nuts, mushrooms, berries, medicinal plants, and flesh and fir of wild animals to nature protection and replenishment of air with oxygen. For that reason, from the viewpoint of nature protection and rational nature management, all forests are classified into three groups.
The first group includes forests where tree felling is strictly banned; the second group where felling is restricted, and only group three forests are operational and involve basic logging. In Primorye, group three forests occupy about 60% of forest-covered area, and forests where felling is possible about 75%.
To allow for continuous utilization of forest resources, lumbering experts reckon the rules and norms of annual felling. For Primorye, this norm amounts to about 10 million cu. m per year. Actually, in some districts, logging by far exceeds rational norms, while in not easily accessible areas trees may not be felled at all.
Primorye forests are a whole stockroom of most valuable products, the so-called nonarboreal forest resources that include cedar nuts and various berries (Schizandra chinensis, grapes, blueberry, cranberry, mountain ash) mushrooms, fern and medicinal plants, including the famous ginseng.
The very valuable birch sap is purveyed in birch forests. Again, lime species afford lots of highly valuable honey. Besides, Primorye forests have from olden times been the site of game hunting involving the sable, the squirrel, the Manchurian deer, the boar, etc. The fur and flesh of wild animals and birds, which is high demand, is purveyed in large quantities. Attempts are being made to cultivate ginseng, Schizandra chinensis, Eleutherocosus senticosus Maxim., as well as some game animal and bird species.
WATER RESOURCES. By and large, Primorye
abounds in water resources. Almost 600 rivers, overall length over 100
km, flow along its territory, and ninety of them are over 50 km long. The
total annual river runoff in Primorye (in years with average climatic conditions)
amounts to 64 cu. m. However, the river runoff is distributed unevenly
in the region. The richest in water resources are Pozharsky, Krasnoarmeisk
and Ternei Districts, and those with lesser amounts of runoffs are Khorol,
Chernigovka, Khanka, Spassk, Mikhailovka, Oktyabrsk, Ussuriisk, Nadezhdinsk
and Shkotovo Districts, and the cities of Artiom and Vladivostok. At the
same time, the latter have been most highly assimilated and populated,
and the demand in water by industry, agriculture and the population at
large is high. Hence, these areas are faced acutely by problems involving
pollution of water resources and fresh water supply.
Large reserves of fresh ground water have been revealed in Primorye. Three hydrological areas have been identified with reserves of about 3 million cu. m. a day, viz.
The North Primorye, Khanka and South Primorye provinces. The large Pushkin deposit of ground waters near Vladivostok has been prospected in South Primorye. It will help improve water supply to the city.
The coastal waters of Primorye boast significant marine biological resources, including various fish species (herring, flatfish, navaga, mintai, salmon, rock trout, and smelt), invertebrates—crabs, crayfish, mollusks (pectens, mussels, oysters), the trepang, the squid, the stentor, the octopus, the sea urchin, etc.; and algae (laminaria or sea cabbage, ahnfeltia, Gracilariidae, etc.
Japan Sea areas adjacent to northern Primorye, and also Peter the Great Bay, are distinguished by high productivity. According to expert estimates, with rational fishery in waters washing Primorye you could land tens of thousands of tons of invertebrates and algae, and up to 250 thousand tons of fish. Numerous inlets and bays of South Primorye have favorable conditions for artificial cultivation of the most valuable mollusk and algae species.
Numerous fresh-water bodies also abound in fish, including the carp, the crucian, the pike, the sheat-fish, the Uranoscopus, and the Sardinius erhythrophthalmus. Khanka, a large lake in the Russian Far East, abounds in fish, and its stocks of humpbacked salmon are significant for fishery.
In Primorye, recreational resources are created by a combination of favorable
natural-climatic conditions, attractiveness of alpine-taiga landscapes,
availability of natural sources of mineral waters and remedial muds. The
recreational resources of the southern coastal areas with their warm seawater,
beaches and picturesque inlets and bays are especially valuable. In Primorye,
there are over one hundred mineral water springs with remedial properties.
They have been particularly assimilated in KIrovka District, where large
resorts are located.
Primorye is known for its diverse remedial muds: sea muds (in Amur Bay, and near Nakhodka) and lacustrine muds (Lake Khanka). The islands in Peter the Great Bay possess unique recreational potential, attracting numerous tourists in summer, when one can combine hikes along the scenic alpine-forest coast with bathing in clear seawater. In winter, you can also enjoy the beautiful nature and the exciting under-ice angling.
The diversity of Primorye’s recreational resources allows to organize various forms of recreation and tourism, including special hiking trails with licensed game hunting and fishing, and rafting on mountain rivers along the seacoast. However, excessive loads by hikers on most beautiful natural landscapes may lead to their degradation. So, here too, the norms and regulations of rational nature management should be observed.
TERRITORIAL COMBINATIONS OF NATURAL
RESOURCES. In assimilating a given territory, you invariably use several,
not just one kind of natural resource. For instance, in building and operating
any enterprise, you would always need land resources, water and air, that
is a combination of natural resources.
Several different enterprises arranged near each other in one industrial area would use a territorial combination of natural resources interconnected via the environment. For instance, coal layers are connected with ground waters, and in open mining of coal is found to be connected with land and forest resources. Coal mining or tree felling would change the reserves of resources associated therewith.
In maritime districts, there are close links between natural land and sea resources. Every year, salmon fish species enter rivers to spawn. Now, if an open god deposit or polymetal deposit were being mined in the valley of such a spawning river, it would be polluted with tailings and oil products to negatively affect spawning conditions. In this case, the biological resources of the coastal part of the sea could diminish.
The Ussuri taiga represents a complex combination of natural resources involving reserves of timber, nuts, sables, squirrels, boars, Schizandra chinensis and medicinal plants. If you were to fell cedar without touching the rest, the reserves of other resources would with time anyway deplete or run short. Hence, prior to assimilating any territory to obtain specific natural resources, one should first study and assess the natural resources (land, water, forest, etc.) separately, and then study the inter-resource associations and specify versions for assimilating the territory in question in the form of calculations and models. This would help select the best version for assimilating the territory with account for the rules of nature management. Scientists, primarily geographers, are resolving such tasks.
P. Ya. BAKLANOV et al. Geography of Primorye
Territory. Ussuri Publishers, Vladivostok, 1997,
Institute of Geography, Far East Science Center, Russian Academy of Sciences.