Republic of Bashkortostan

Bashkiria Republic - Bashkurdistan

The Republic of Bashkortostan is located between the Volga river and the Ural Mountains, the capital is Ufa. It is one of the richest territories of Russia in mineral resources with some 3,000 known important mineral deposits. The mayor resource is crude oil, natural gas, coal, and lignite with a high degree of bituminosity. The economy depends on the oil processing industry, which is a left-over from Soviet times.

The variety of natural resources is impressive. There are ferrous metal ores like chromite, pyrites and other iron ores, non-ferrous metal ores like manganese, lead, and tungsten, non-metallic ores like fluorite, barite, silica, asbestos, and talcum, deposits of precious and semi-precious stones like malachite and jade, minerals like like rock crystal and islandic spar, and rocks like granite. Actually the country has all resources its needs for all parts of its industry. It is not dependant on any import of raw materials.

The country has various well developed karst areas, especially in southern Ural. Today several hundred caves are registered, which is about 20% of all the known caves in Russia. One of the most well known is Kutuck-Sumgan, with a total length of about 10 km and a vertical range of 130 m. And there is Askinskaya Cave which is an ice cave, said to contain the largest known amount of cave ice. Actually those caves are not open to the public.

Along various river valley in the southern Ural there are dozens of small caves which were opened by the deepening valley. They may be freely visited, and a are actually well visited by weekenders paddling down the rivers. There is famous Shulgan-Tash (Kapova) Cave with its painted mammoths, rhinos, horses and a bison. And there is Krasny Klutch (Red Spring), a huge and deep karst spring.

In the foothills of the Ural is gypsum karst found, also with numerous caves.