The natural wealth of Ukraine
Ukraine is rich in natural resources: coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, uranium and others. The reserves of sulfur are the largest in the world, the reserves of mercury ore are the second largest. Ukraine has more than 5% of the world reserves of iron ore.
Also, there are oil and natural gas deposits but their reserves are not large. They were partly depleted during the Soviet period.
Coal is the main fossil fuel of Ukraine. It is mined in the Donetsk and Lviv-Volyn basins. Donetsk Basin (Donbass) is the largest in Ukraine. It is located on the territory of Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts.
The area of the basin is about 60,000 sq. km. (50,000 sq. km. within Ukrainian border). The eastern part of the Donetsk Basin is located in Rostov oblast of Russia. Industrial coal mining began in 1795.
This region in east-central Ukraine is the industrial heartland of the country and one of the major heavy-industrial and mining-metallurgical complexes of Europe. This region is the most urbanized and russified area of Ukraine. Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk and Donetsk are the main cities.
Besides its basic mining industries, the Donetsk Basin has highly developed ferrous-metals industries that produce iron and steel in large quantities. Durable goods manufactured in Donetsk Basin include mining and metallurgical equipment, diesel locomotives, and tractors.
Along with coal Ukraine has rich deposits of iron ore (about 46% of all deposits of the former USSR).
Ukraine is rich in building materials (granite, marble, labradorite, chalk, marl, sandstone). The largest reserves of granite and labradorite are found in Zhitomir region.
In the volume of Ukrainian industrial production mining industry accounts for about 11%.
Ukrainian chemical industry produces large amounts of coke, mineral fertilizers, and sulfuric acid.
Ukrainian food-processing industries yield granulated sugar and meat, fruit, and dairy products.
Light industry and consumer goods sectors of Ukraine are underdeveloped in comparison to its heavy industry and agriculture.