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Aspects in Mining & Mineral Science

Main Precambrian and Paleozoic Mineral Resources of Estonia

  • Open or CloseAlvar Soesoo*

    Department of Geology, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia

    *Corresponding author: Alvar Soesoo, Department of Geology, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia

Submission: April 20, 2021; Published: May 12, 2021

DOI: 10.31031/AMMS.2021.06.000639

ISSN : 2578-0255
Volume6 Issue3


Estonia is rich in mineral resources. For example, oil shale usage has over 100 years of history and Estonia holds, the largest in Europe, unused sedimentary phosphate rock reserves, about 3 Billion metric tons ore (ca 819 Million metric tons of P2O5). The phosphate content in fossil shells (phosphorite) ranges 35-37 wt% P2O5. These shells are relatively enriched by rare earth elements, where the total rare earth metals reach 3600ppm. The phosphates are overlain by metal-enriched black shale-graptolite argillite. Calculated tonnage of elements in the black shale is uranium-5.6656 Million tons (6.6796Mt as U3O8), Zinc-16.5330Mt (20.5802Mt as ZnO), vanadium-47.7538Mt, molybdenum-12.7616Mt (19.1462Mt as MoO3) and thorium tonnage in between 0.213-0.254Mt. Estonian oil shale-kukersite deposits cover up to 5,000km2. The total kukersite resources in Estonia are estimated to be about 4.627 Billion tons. Several metal occurrences are known in the Paleoproterozoic basement of Estonia. In NE Estonia, magnetite-gneisses (up to 45 % total iron), sometimes enriched in Mn (up to 6 wt%) are found in Jõhvi complex and in several locations elsewhere. Historical drillings have shown that the complex of magnetite-rich rocks is about 100m thick, and the reserves of iron ore (Fe over 25%) are about 355 Million tons (calculated to depth of 500m), 629 Million tons if calculated to the depth of 700m and 1500 Million tons if calculated to the depths of 1000m. However, this needs to be confirmed by modern exploration.

Keywords: Earth resources; Iron ore; Phosphorite; Oil shale; Carbonate rocks; Black shale; Rare earth elements; Estonia

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