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Social and natural resources

History and culture

Russian merchants began to exploit the Urals and the territory of the present day Sverdlovsk Oblast as long ago as XI century. In 1598 the first town - Verkhoturye - was founded here to become the capital of the Urals. The industrial development of the region has begun at the end of the XVII century and is associated with the names of Peter the Great and the Demidovs, a family of mining industrialists. During the XVIII-XIX centuries the Urals region was the main source of metallurgical products in Russia.



The Nevyansk Tower built in XVIII century is one of the old mysteries of the Urals. For reasons unknown the tower was built with a slight tilt resembling the Tower of Pisa.

Свердловская область. Невьянская башня


Furthermore the XIX century saw the development of machine building and new types of industry: electric power generation, timber processing, and food industry. Most of these industries still play a key role in the economy of the region.

The Sverdlovsk Oblast today is not only a large industrial but a cultural centre of Russia. In the Oblast there are 30 theatres (opera and ballet, drama, musical comedy, puppet theatres and etc.), 11 concert organizations, 108 state-owned and municipal museums, a circus, a zoo, aquaparks, and art galleries.

The Sverdlovsk Oblast has become a venue for various prestigious international, national, and regional festivals, conferences and exhibitions.


Свердловская область. Боевая машина поддержки танковNizhny Tagil is the venue for "Russian Expo Arms" - an international exhibition of arms, military equipment, and ammunition.  


Natural resources

Vast mineral resources of the Sverdlovsk Oblast include:

  • iron ores used for steel and iron production;
  • nonferrous metal ores: bauxites, copper, titanium, vanadium, and nickel;
  • precious (emerald) and semi-precious stones (jasper and serpentine);
  • gold and platinum;
  • raw materials for the production of cement and various construction materials;
  • underground low- and high-salt content mineral water.

The region accounts for 97% of vanadium production, 70% of bauxites, 61% of chrysolite asbestos and 25% of iron ores and 22% of refractory clays in Russia's total industrial output.



There are vast amounts of mineral resources in the Sverdlovsk Oblast. There are 5.7 million tons of vanadium ores and 67 million tons of asbestos here.

Свердловская область. Месторождения

On the territory of the Sverdlovsk Oblast we find the main raw material base for the aluminium industry and the only region in the Russian Federation where high quality bauxites are produced. The bauxites are of the key commercial value; their quality is recognised both in Russia and the CIS countries.

Nonferrous metallurgy raw materials are also of significance here. Taking into account the current production rate, iron ore deposits of 7.9 billion tons will last for decades satisfying the demand of metallurgical companies.

The Urals region is the world's leader in asbestos production accounting for 25% of the world output; this fulfils the demand of the Urals economic area, the CIS countries, Russia, as well as being exported further abroad to countries outside the CIS.


Свердловская область. Нефтянные месторожденияThe development of oil and gas fields in the north of the Sverdlovsk Oblast is one of the promising avenues. 

The Sverdlovsk Oblast is the oldest gold and platinum mining region in Russia. There are 6 gold ore fields and 185 gold placers, a complex platinoid ores field and 73 complex gold-platinum placers on territory of the Oblast.

Among non-metallic minerals we should mention the Urals marble that comes in 40-60 various colours. The 26 explored fields provide for 15% of the Russian marble production.

The Mid Urals Gemstone Belt runs through the territory of the Sverdlovsk Oblast. Deposits and manifestations of dozens of precious and semi-precious stones have been found here at various times, these include emerald, beryl, alexandrite, aquamarine, ruby, amethyst, topaz, morion and many other rare minerals. This is the area of the only in Russia and one of the world's largest deposits - the Malyshev emerald and beryllium mine.



In 1993 a unique emerald weighing 1171 grams was found in the Malyshev field. The stone was made part of the national patrimony and was named "The President" after Boris Yeltsin, the first Head of the Russian Federation.

Свердловская область. Изумруд Президент


Inexhaustible deposits of limestone and clay, sand and gravel, decorative and building stone, and other minerals are used for the production of construction materials.


Population and labour resources

Almost 83% of the population live in the cities, towns, and urban type communities. The population of Ekaterinburg exceeds one million; other large cities of the Oblast are Nizhniy Tagil, Kamensk-Uralskiy, and Pervouralsk.

Available labour resources of the Sverdlovsk Oblast amount to 2.38 million people.


Свердловская область. ЕкатеринбургEkaterinburg, the capital of the Sverdlovsk Oblast. 


The Sverdlovsk Oblast ranks among the leading regions of Russia in terms of research potential. Nearly 1000 doctors and 5000 candidates to doctors of sciences work in the science and research sphere. The Urals Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences includes 22 academic research institutes. The main research areas include:

  • pure and applied mathematics and mechanics;
  • solid state physics and solid state chemistry;
  • electrophysics and thermal physics;
  • integrated issues of machine building;
  • theory of metallurgic processes;
  • high-temperature electro-chemistry;
  • synthetic organic chemistry;
  • integrated study of plant, animal, soil, and water resources;
  • establishing the foundations of rational use of natural resources.

In Ekaterinburg there are 100 applied science organizations (industry sector project bureaus, design, research, and development institutes) and 43 higher education establishments (state-owned and commercial).
A number of large and medium-sized companies of the city are involved in innovation activities; state of the art technologies and innovative developments are put into practice there.



Higher education establishments boasting a centennial history are of particular significance. In the photograph: One of the largest higher education establishments in the Oblast - the Boris Yeltsin Ural State Technical University - UPI. About 40,000 students study in the university each year.

Свердловская область. УГТУ-УПИ


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