Minusinsk Coal Basin

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Minusinsk Coal Basin


located in the Minusinsk Basin in Khakass Autonomous Oblast, Krasnoiarsk Krai, and connected by railroad with Novokuznetsk, Achinsk, and Taishet. Coal was first extracted here in 1904 at the Izykh and Chernogorsk deposits, and until 1917 mining was on a small scale. Between 1926 and 1928, G. A. Ivanov made a detailed geological survey of the basin and mapped all the coal deposits now known. The largest deposits are the Chernogorsk, Izykh (both currently worked), Askiz, Beia, Altaiskii, and Kuten’-Buluk.

The coal measures range from 630 m to 1,800 m in thickness and have a uniform alternation of sandstone, argillite, siltstone, and coal. They are divided into two series, the Khakass (Carboniferous) and Arshan (Lower Permian). The deposits are symmetrical brachysynclines with a northeasterly or latitudinal strike. They have slightly undulating, gently sloping seams with occasional small faults. The coalbeds lie close together; of the 80 beds and interbeds about 40 are thick enough to work (more than 0.7 m) but only 6–10 are being worked. Where the beds merge they sometimes form complex seams 10 m or more in thickness. All these factors facilitate open-pit mining. The coals are humic and low in sulfur and phosphorus; most of them belong to the gas and long-flame grades. They have a moisture content of 3–7 percent and a carbon content of 77–82 percent; the heat of combustion is 32.7–34.4 megajoules per kg (7,800–8,200 kilocalories per kg), with an ash content of up to 37 percent. The coals are difficult to concentrate.

Geological reserves total 32.5 billion tons (according to 1968 calculations), and available reserves are estimated at 4.33 billion tons (1973), of which 3.03 billion tons are suitable for open-pit mining. In 1972 the basin’s three shaft mines and two open-pit mines yielded 5.29 million tons, of which 2.67 million tons were extracted by the open-pit method.


Geologiia mestorozhdenii uglia i goriuchikh slantsev SSSR, vol 8. Moscow, 1964.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.