Ferrous minerals (iron and manganese) dominate Ukraine’s mineral production, but the country is also a major producer of coal and ilmenite. The Ukraine is the CIS’s largest iron ore producer, and is ranked 7th in world production.
It also has the world’s second largest manganese reserves (after South Africa) and is the world’s third largest producer in terms of volume of ore. Due to the lower grade nature of the Ukraine’s ore it is ranked 5th in the world in terms of metal content. The Ukraine is a major steel producer and used to be the Soviet Union’s largest heavy machine manufacturer.
Although Ukraine has no bauxite reserves of its own it hosts the Nikolayev Alumina Works (NGZ), which is the FSU’s largest alumina producer.
Due to the Ukraine’s focus on ferrous metal mining and beneficiation during the Soviet Era, little attention was paid to developing non-ferrous and precious metals. 95% of Ukraine’s mining and beneficiation enterprises are part of the state-controlled company Ukrrudprom. The government is attempting to privatise the company in part.
Since dissolution of the Soviet Union, ferrous mining has suffered severe production losses due to little/no investment and exhausted ore reserves. The Ukraine is the CIS’s largest titanium producer, but has had to export all it production as local beneficiation plants had closed.
In 1998, the government set up a Department for the Gold Industry to create a gold mining and beneficiation industry in the Ukraine. Experts believe that the Ukraine could produce as much as 22t gold per year.