Due to objective reasons (the geographic location, climatic conditions, remote position from main transport communications and from goods sales markets both in the Russian Federation and abroad) extractive enterprises of the oil and gas sector will remain to be most effective in the nearest future. In this connection, increasing the efficiency of the oil and gas sector is one of the actual economy problems of the industry both of present time and in a long-term prospective. The oil and gas sector, together with the associated production works, form the main part of the region’s production potential. They provide employment of the population and operation of the social infrastructure of northern districts of the region. Tomsk Region occupies the territory of 316.9 thousand km2. In accordance with the re-estimation of hydrocarbon resources in the Russian Federation as of 01.01.1999, the area of prospective oil and gas bearing territory of Tomsk Region equals 228.3 thousand km2 (72 % of the total area), about 61 thousand km2were given for subsurface management (26.7 % of the prospective territory).
Tomsk Region is one of the few Russian regions which have the possibility, during a lengthy period of time, to develop the oil and gas industry by fully using up its own natural resources, with almost 200 million tons of oil having already been extracted. Since May of 1999 the region has been a gas production industry of Russia. Myldzhinsk gas-condensate field has been brought into development.
According to the quantity estimation of oil and gas content prospects for Tomsk Region as of 01.01.1999, the initial geological resources of hydrocarbon raw materials make up 9.0 billion tons, the extracted ones are 3.6 billion tons of contingent hydrocarbons (1 ton of hydrocarbons equals 1 ton of oil or 1000 m3 of gas).
The given figures unambiguously speak of high prospects of conducting further geological exploration for new deposits of hydrocarbon raw materials in the territory of the region. It should be also noted that the extent of exploration of the hydrocarbon resources in the region amounts to only 24.7 %, i.e. 75% of the raw materials have not been discovered yet.
The major part of the state fund of subsurface resources in Tomsk Region is located in Paiduginskaya and Predeniseyskaya oil-and-gas bearing regions. These two oil-and-gas bearing regions are characterized with an extremely low extent of exploration (up to 0% in Predeniseyskaya oil-and-gas bearing region) and a significant amount of hydrocarbon resources (325.8 million tons in Paiduginskaya oil-and-gas bearing region and 950 million tons in Predeniseyskaya one). The stage of regional geologic and geophysical works is still not over for these territories. Entering these regions with the purpose of conducting geologic and geophysical works will make it possible, for a long-term, to ensure the raw material basis of the oil and gas production industry in Tomsk Region.
There are the following kinds of deposits of ore minerals of commercial interest in the territory of Tomsk Region:
· Sedimentary iron ores
· Composite zircon and ilmenite placers
· Gold and platinum occurences
· Zinc occurences
· Bauxite occurences
Sedimentary marine iron ores
Total inferred resources of iron-bearing ores of more than 30% in Tomsk Region are estimated at 393 billion tons, which makes it possible to consider the region to be the largest iron-ore province in the world. One can distinguish five ore clusters in the basin – Bakcharsky, Kolpashevsky, Parabelsky, Chuziksky and Parbigsky ones.
In geological terms, the West Siberian iron-ore basin in Tomsk Region has been very poorly explored. An exception is Bakcharsky ore cluster, sometimes called a deposit. The deposit is situated in 200 km to the west of Tomsk in the Andarm and Iks interfluve. The deposit area is 1200 km2. The deposit can be divided into two segments – the Western and the Eastern ones. The average content of iron in ores of the Bakcharsky deposit is 43,09% in the Western segment and 40,15% in the Eastern segment. A special feature of Bakcharsky deposit ores is a higher content of phosphorus and vanadium.
It should be noted in the end that ore horizons of the West Siberian basin, on the whole, are characterized with a complex mining-and-geological and hydrogeological composition, which impedes large-scale mining. In case of commercial exploitation one requires special mining works based on the method of hydraulic borehole mining, though a significant depth of ore will hardly make it possible to use even this method in the nearest future.
Composite zircon and ilmenite placers
Up to 30% of titanium dioxide and a significant part of zircon of Russia are at present concentrated in Tomsk Region. Titanium and zircon are concentrated in two large zircon and ilmenite placers – the known Tuganskoye and the new Georgievskoye deposits. Tuganskoye deposit fully prepared for exploitation is situated in 3- km to north-east of Tomsk in the area of Tugan. The depth of ore bed is from 1.4 to 14 m (on average, 7 m), that of capping is from 0 to 15 m (on average, 5.1 m). The hydrogeological conditions are simple. Pilot mining is carried out by open-cutting.
A special feature of Tugan sands is a high content of scandium, tantalum, hafnium, terres rares - lanthanum, cerium, samarium, neodymium, ytterbium and others, which makes it possible to treat the deposit as a composite one.
Ore sands amount to about 124.7 million m3, including zircon - 1380 thousand tons, ilmenite - 3400 thousand tons, leucoxene + rutile - 600 thousand tons. Besides, reserves of non-ore minerals have been booked: kaolin, quartz sand, mortar sand, molding sand, fusible clay, high-melting clay, sandstone, as well as associated components in the ore component of sands - vanadium and scandium in ilmenite, hafnium and scandium in zircon, scandium in leucoxene + rutile.
In 1991 Georgievskoye deposit of similar composition was discovered and partially explored. The deposit is situated in close proximity to Tuganskoye deposit and is its northern continuation. According to the structure and composition of the pay horizon, it does not differ from its southern counterpart, apart from a deeper bed (over 100 meters) of the pay horizon and relatively lower content of useful components. One part of the deposit has been explored – it is the Kantessky reserve, where reserves of ore sands were estimated by commercial category to the sum of 75.4 million m3. Besides, the resources of the deposit in total were estimated at about 3000 million m3.
Gold and Platinum Occurrences
In total, there are 14 ore occurrences and gold ore mineralisation occurences in bedrock in Tomsk. One of them, Baturinskoye occurrence, located downstream the Tugoyarivka River, the right affluent of the Tom River, is more or less explored. The gold content in the ore fluctuates between 1-17 g/ton. Besides, the platinum content in the ores is estimated at 1.7-2.8 g/ton and there is increased silver content (0.5-6.8 g/ton). There are insignificant quantities of gold nuggets in the form of dissemination. The fineness of gold is 890-930 per mille. The inferred resources of the occurrences are estimated at 5.3 tons.
There are no large-scale gold occurrences in the region, but lately there has been revealed the commercial gold mineralisation of the Tom alluvium of the insular Aydakovskoye deposit of sand and gravel mix. The contents are not high – up to 100-200 mg/m3 (on average, 120 mg/m3), moreover, the occurrence is at the depth of 10- 12 meters.
Within the boundaries of Aydakovskoye deposit of sand and gravel mix, there are two gold gold-rich layers as thick as 1.5- 2.0 m, as wide as 320- 480 m, with the average content of 30-50 mg/m3 per layer with the increase of its content in certain samples up to 200-500 mg/m3. Besides, there are occurrences of alluvial gold mineralization in a number of small right affluents of the Tom - Kirgizka, Ushayka, Basandaika, Yakunina, Tugoyakovka.
The zinc occurrence known as Turuntaevskaya ore zone is located in 65 km from Tomsk, at the village of Turuntaevo. Zinc deposits in the Central area are estimated at 559 thousand tons up to the depth of 500 meters. According to experts, there are no other such, purely zinc, deposits.
The region has two occurrences and one unexplored deposit of karst bauxites, Tatulskoye deposit, located between the villages of Turuntaevo and Novorozhdestvenka at the northern continuation of the Barzasskoya group of bauxite deposits of Kemerovo Region. The bauxites are useful for alumina production, but the estimated expected reserves of 11.5 million tons do not allow considering the deposit at present to be a commercial one. In case of presence of a consumer in the deposit region there should be arranged exploration and estimation works.