This will be the northernmost mine in Russia

The heavily militarized Arctic archipelago of Novaya Zemlya holds more lead and zinc than previously estimated.
March 31, 2016

New geological surveys of the Pavlovsky deposit reveals a 26 percent increase in ore resources. The total resource potential is now upgraded to 47 million tons, TASS reports.

License holder and operator ARMZ Uranium Holding (JSC Atomredmetzoloto), a subsidiary of state-owned nuclear power giant Rosatom, intends to develop infrastructure, a processing plant, as well as housing facilities for 450 workers on site, company CEO Yuri Murashko says. 

Parts of the production is planned shipped to the world markets through the Northern Sea Route, the company informs at its website. Annual production is set to 2,5 million tons of ore.

The deposit was discovered in 2001 and the projected mine is reported to come into production in year 2019.

The Pavlovsky deposit includes a 12 square km area located about 16 km from the coast. The projected port will allow vessels with a deadweight of up 8000 ton to dock.

Novaya Zemlya is closed military area strictly controlled by the Russian Armed Forces.

Between 1973 and 1975, the southern island of Novaya Zemlya was used for larger underground nuclear tests. Of the seven detonations that took place in the area, several ventilated radioactive gases to the atmosphere because the explosions were not deep enough in the ground.


From 1976 to 1990, all underground nuclear tests took place at the northern test-range in the Matochin Straight. Since 1990, only so-called sub-critical nuclear tests have been conducted at Novaya Zemlya.

The Novaya Zemlya ore resources. Map illustration by: