Nikopol Manganese Basin
Nikopol Manganese Basin [Нікопольський магранцеворудний басейн; Nikopolskyi mahrantsevorudnyi basein]. One of the world’s largest formations of manganese ore. It is part of a larger manganoferrous basin stretching from Bulgaria through southern Ukraine to Georgia and containing 70 percent of the world’s continental reserves of manganese ore. The Nikopol Manganese Basin extends from the small deposits at Inhulets to two large deposits north of Nikopol and then southeast of the Dnipro River to Tokmak. The ore deposit is 1–20 km wide and on average 2–3.5 m thick. The total reserves amount to 2.3 billion tonnes.
The ores consist of high-grade oxides, mixed, and lower-grade carbonates with an average manganese content of 23–26 percent, 11–35 percent, and 15–17 percent respectively. The mining of high-grade ores began at Marhanets, northeast of Nikopol, in 1886. Production was greatly expanded in the 1950s, when open-pit mining of carbonate ores began at Ordzhonikidze (now Pokrov), northwest of Nikopol. In 1980 the basin included seven mines, two quarries, and five enrichment plants. As the Nikopol Manganese Basin proper becomes exhausted, the Tokmak Basin assumes greater economic importance.
(See also Manganese industry.)
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]