Belarus is a landlocked country in eastern Europe that has a total area of 80,153 square miles.
Large expanses of marshland can be found in Belarus, which has generally flat topography. The country features many lakes and streams and has an average elevation of 525 feet above sea level.
In Belarus, forests cover over 40% of the country’s land. Both coastal and continental climates are present.
Five European nations, notably Poland, Latvia, Ukraine, Lithuania, and Russia, border Belarus.
Natural resources in Belarus are typically scarce. Although the government is making an effort to speed up the development of its raw material base, Belarus still depends on Russia for the majority of its fossil fuel and energy needs.
Petroleum was found in the 1960s in the republic’s southeast, close to Rechytsa. 1975 marked the production’s high, and by the 1990s, when it steadied, it had decreased to one-fourth of that amount.
However, Belarus does have one of the greatest potash (potassium salts) reserves in the world, which was discovered south of Minsk in 1949 and began to be exploited in the 1960s near the new mining town and fertilizer manufacturing hub of Salihorsk.
Early in the twenty-first century, potash exports remained high. Peat, which is particularly rich in the Pripet Marshes, is another industry in which the nation excels. It is used as fuel in briquette form.
Salt, whose significant resource was discovered near Mazyr in the 1980s, building materials, primarily limestone, and quartz sands for glassmaking, both used locally, and small deposits of gold and diamonds.
A couple of low-capacity hydroelectric power plants exist, and most electricity is produced by thermal power plants utilizing pipeline natural gas and oil. Peat is also occasionally used locally.
Early in the twenty-first century, Belarus started building its first nuclear power station. The plant, which was less than 15 miles (24 km) from the Lithuanian border, was strongly opposed by the Lithuanian government.
In addition to more than 1,000 solid fuel, ore, and nonmetallic mineral deposits, 84 hydrocarbon deposits, 60 of which are being developed (71%), 380 fresh groundwater deposits, and 245 mineral groundwater deposits are all found in Belarus (407 of which are used).
Large amounts of potash, rock salts, dolomite, chalk, and marl-chalk rocks, glass and silicate sands, construction stone, raw clay materials, peat, sapropel, and fresh and mineral groundwater are among the nation’s abundant raw material resources.
Top 9 Natural Resources in Belarus
The following are the top 9 natural resources in Belarus
1. Peat Reserves
In its marshlands, Belarus has some peat deposits. Organic materials and partially degraded vegetation make up peat, a brown substance.
It develops when decomposing plant matter and other organic materials assemble in bogs, moors, and peatlands, which are their native habitats.
Peat from the marshes is taken out and dried to make bricks that may be used for heating. Firewood can be swapped out for peat.
Peat was used in homes for heating and cooking during the turn of the 20th century before cooking gas became a common fuel source in Europe.
Additionally, electric power plants are powered by the commodity. In Belarus, peat reserves have considerably declined. To prevent exploitation, some of the peat deposits are located in protected areas.
Forests are a plentiful resource in Belarus and are considered part of its natural wealth. They fall under the category of state property.
Different types of trees, including pines, oaks, birches, aspens, and other hardwood trees, can be found in Belarusian forests.
A sizable forestry sector with more than 5,000 businesses has grown as a result of the forests in Belarus. Approximately 146,000 people from Belarus are employed in the forestry sector.
Belarus’ forestry industry offers wood for both domestic and foreign markets. Due to high demand from the building industry and the furniture manufacturing sector, the country’s timber production has been gradually increasing since 2013.
Authorities in Belarus manage and protect the forests because of their significance to the nation.
Within its borders, Belarus has sizable quantities of shale oil. But the majority of the oil reserves are still untapped.
Between 5 and 11 billion tons of oil are thought to be stored in reservoirs across Belarus.
The high cost of extraction, the oil’s high sulfur content, and the availability of less expensive alternatives are the main reasons why the oil hasn’t been fully utilized.
Belarus has recently grown interested in using the oil reserves. To aid in the production of oil shale, the nation has collaborations with China and Estonia.
4. Natural Gas
Natural resources in Belarus include natural gas. However, there are only trace amounts of natural gas. The country produced 8.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas as of 2015.
The natural gas is extracted from slightly more than 60 gas fields in Belarus. Oil and gas extraction for commercial purposes started in Belarus in 1965.
One of the Belarusian businesses that extract natural gas is Belorusneft. Belarus produces a relatively little amount of natural gas, and as a result, all of it is used domestically.
5. Brown Coal
As part of its natural resources, Belarus contains brown coal, which is used as a fuel source. Belarus’s coal reserves have not yet been fully utilized.
The nation has asked foreign businesses to help with the exploration of naturally occurring resources. However, the use of coal as fuel is frequently constrained by environmental issues.
6. Fertile Land
Belarus has a lot of fertile lands, particularly adjacent to river basins. Numerous crops, including barley, wheat, potatoes, oats, sugar beets, and fodder, are grown on the property.
The agriculture industry in Belarus is supported by rich land. The majority of Belarusian agricultural output is sold via neighborhood markets.
One significant industry that supports the national economy and employs many Belarusians is food processing.
Rich limestone resources can be found in Belarus. Limestone is mostly extracted by state-owned businesses for use as a raw ingredient in the manufacture of cement.
Fertilizers are also made from limestone. Belarus is ranked as the fourth-largest fertilizer producer in the world. In addition, lime, a substance used to remediate soil, is frequently made from limestone.
The final uses for limestone are in paint, polymers, and pharmaceuticals. The majority of the limestone extracted in Belarus is used in the domestic market.
After limestone has been removed, pits are created that create a beautiful environment. These limestone mining sites are popular with tourists because of their distinctive landscapes.
8. Iron and Steel
Within its boundaries, Belarus contains significant iron ores. Steel and iron are crucial elements in many different economic sectors.
Steel bars, iron pipes, metal cords, screws, wires, bolts, and nails are the primary products of Belarus’ iron industry.
The Byelorussian Steel Works Company produces over 90% of the iron and steel used in Belarus. Steel is utilized in many different industries, including manufacturing and construction.
Sand is one of Belarus’ natural resources. The Eastern part of the country is where the majority of the sand deposits are located.
Sand is mostly used in the building of houses, roadways, and industrial facilities. Glass and insulating materials are also made with some sand.
Sand reserves in Belarus are largely untapped. The Belarusian government made a sand location available in November 2018 to foreign businesses that could extract the sand.
List of all Natural Resources of Belarus
Listed below are all the natural resources in Belarus
- Iron ore
- Beryllium (leucophanite)
- Rock salts
- Chalk and marl-chalk rocks
- Silicate sands
- Building stone
- Clay raw materials
- Fresh and mineral groundwater
- Natural Gas
- Brown Coal
- Fertile land
Natural resources in Belarus are few. The majority of its natural resources are owned and controlled by the nation.
The technological and physical capacity for Belarus to explore some of its mineral and oil reserves is lacking. As a result, Belarus looks for international collaborators to help with resource exploration.
The majority of Belarus’ industries, including those in the food, energy, construction, and manufacturing sectors, rely heavily on the essential raw materials that are extracted from the country’s natural resources.
The national GDP of Belarus is significantly influenced by its natural resources.
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A passion-driven environmentalist by heart. Lead content writer at EnvironmentGo.
I strive to educate the public about the environment and its problems.
It has always been about nature, we ought to protect not destroy.