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RAS Academician: Only 5 percent of mineral resources in the Russian Arctic have been explored so far
© RIA Novosti. Evgeny Biyatov

RAS Academician: Only 5 percent of mineral resources in the Russian Arctic have been explored so far

Just five percent of mineral resources hidden beneath the Russian Arctic have been explored so far, said Academician Alexander Khanchuk, Member of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) and RAS Arctic Program Coordinator, during the Arctic Days in Moscow forum.

"As regards oil and gas resources, the Arctic has been explored rather poorly. As for real, confirmed resources, this is just 5-6 percent of the forecasted potential. In addition, the Arctic holds vast reserves of strategic metals, comparable with the prospected amount of its oil and gas resources," Khanchuk said, as reported by the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency.

The development of the Arctic, as historical experience suggests, is still ahead, as 30-40 years usually pass between the initial exploratory stage and the beginning of extraction, the academician said.

"This is work for our country's future. The Arctic accounts for our main deposits of platinum, nickel and gold, huge reserves of rare-earth metals, as well as diamond deposits of a cable-tool extraction type, which appeared at the sites of meteorite strikes. These diamonds possess unique abrasive qualities," Khanchuk said.