Minerals in Crimea have almost everything, but in scanty amounts, says Anatoly Pasynkov, candidate of geological sciences. “There are many deposits in the Crimea, but most of them have no industrial significance – the reserves are too small,” agrees Lyudmila Kirichenko, candidate of geological and mineralogical sciences. Although hundreds of years ago, the main wealth of Crimea was considered not climate, landscapes or fruits, but minerals …
In the days of the Crimean Khanate, one of the main export items (along with slaves and fruits) was greasy and soapy bentonite clay – all wealthy people of the huge 30 million Ottoman Empire used it instead of soap and shampoo.
Clay was mined in an open way – in kiln pits. One of the mining sites was Sapun Mountain (translated as “Soap Mountain”) in the territory of present-day Sevastopol.
In Crimea, a keel was used not only for washing, but also for degreasing sheep’s wool and washing clothes. Clay clarified wine and fruit juices and purified water. By the end of the 19th century, demand for kil was reduced, and at the beginning of the 20th century, production increased again – in the years of devastation, kil was replaced by expensive and scarce soap and tooth powder. The industrial development of unique raw materials began in 1931 at two fields – Kurtzovsky in Simferopol district and Kudrinsky in Bakhchisarai district. From clay, mixing it with soda, they made the first washing powder in the USSR with the uncomplicated name “StirPor”. Clay from the Kudrinsk deposit was considered the best in the USSR. It was used even for medicinal purposes – with varicose veins, arthritis and radiculitis. At the sunset of the Soviet Union, the extraction of clay was considered unprofitable and now the development is stopped.
In Crimea, oil was produced in small volumes in the 70s of the XIX hake. The most famous deposit was at that time on the Kerch Peninsula and was exploited by private entrepreneurs. The field began to be studied in detail only after the revolution, and serious exploration and exploitation began after the Great Patriotic War.
“There is little oil there, it seeps to the surface near the mud volcanoes. And before the revolution, and now the people collect it and use it for their needs. Free, ”says Anatoly Pasynkov. Until recently, an oil field was developed in Tarkhankut. A joint venture of the Krymgeolognya and Twkhasnafta associations produced about one oil tank per month.