Fergana Valley, domestic production, gold production, metric tons, USSR
Uzbekistan has abundant mineral wealth, and the government considers developing the country’s mining industry to be an economic priority. Uzbekistan is among the world’s leaders in gold production, extracting 85 metric tons in 2000. Uzbekistan’s Muruntau gold mine is considered one of the richest of the former USSR. Production from this mine is expected to exceed 140 metric tons before being exhausted. The country also produces quantities of copper, lead, zinc, tungsten, and lithium.
Major reserves of fossil fuels have been located in Uzbekistan. The country produces large quantities of natural gas, and recent discoveries of oil in the Fergana Valley have increased domestic production considerably. Uzbekistan has already become a net exporter of oil and may soon accomplish this goal for natural gas as well. Uzbekistan also has significant reserves of coal, about one-third of which is highly valued anthracite.
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