Gomel Oblast Land and mineral resources
The total area of Gomel oblast is 4036.2 thousand hectares, 1450.3 thousand hectares of them are agrarian lands. Arable fields occupy 59% of the land, hayfields and pastures—37%. The area of the Forestry Fund of the oblast is 2227.2 thousand hectares, 1822 thousand hectares of which are covered with forests.
Among mineral deposits valuable for the national economy are fuel and energy raw materials. About 1500 deposits of peat have been investigated which covers up to 30% of the fuel balance, and which is used as construction material and fertilizer.
In 1964 the first commercial oil was extracted near the town of Rechitsa. Over a hundred million tons thereof have been obtained since then. In Mozyr an oil refinery and a chemical plant are operating. Every ton of extracted "black gold" is accompanied by up to 95 cubic meters of gas, which is a precious chemical raw material and an excellent fuel. An oil refinery plant was built in the Rechitsky district for receipt of the accompanying gas. Coal deposits have been investigated in the southeastern part of the Pripyatskaya depression. Fuel slates were found in the Yelsky district. The stock of brown coals is estimated to be one hundred million tons, concentrated in Zhitkovichskoye and Brinevskoye deposits.
Clay necessary for bricks and tiles manufacturing is available in 17 districts of the Oblast. Brick manufacturing plants are operated in the region.
The investigated deposits of rock salt exceed 22 billion tons. Based on the Mozyr deposit the greatest in the republic production of the "Extra" salt was established.
The oblast has deposits of potassium salts, chalk, construction stones, glass and formwork sands.
A sanatorium is functioning on the basis of mineral waters which are found in the entrails of the Gomel region.
Searching and assessment works of the diamond deposits are carried on in the Oblast. Preparation is planned to commercial operation of the "Diabazovoye" deposits, the ores thereof being a complex raw material for producing beryllium and rare-earth elements. Based on this deposit, construction of a mine is possible with annual rate of 100-200 thousand tons of ore mineral.
The Oblast has prerequisites for detecting and preparing for commercial use of some new sources of raw materials - gypsum, basalt fibers, mineral sorbents, iodine-bromine broth.