largest producer, economic hardship, international assistance, Soviet Union, molybdenum
Armenia produced about one-third of the molybdenum for the former Soviet Union and has significant deposits of copper and zinc. Also important is its production of industrial minerals. Armenia was the largest producer in the former USSR of perlite and extracts quantities of clay, construction stones, and semiprecious gems. A small amount of gold also is mined.
Armenia must import nearly all of its oil and natural gas. This dependence on foreign supplies created economic hardship when borders closed during political disputes. However, recent surveys suggest quantities of oil and natural gas may lie far underground in Armenia. The country is seeking international assistance for further exploration and development.
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