In this chapter I discuss the northern part of European Russia. Basically Arkhangelskaya oblast, Nenechkij Avtonomi Oblast and Respublica Komi. This area is also known as Timanskij Krjazh. The landscape of this area is probably the most boring landscape of Russia, at least from the air. It is an endless near flat landscape of reddish color, typical for the northern Tundra. Countless rivers meander through this tundra and there are even more lakes, doting the landscape. There are few villages, but they are far apart and small. No sign of any human activity can be seen from the air. I assume that going here for rockhounding is quite some adventure and requires some serious planning.

Click here for an overview of local geology

(Belaya river)

The 'white river' is a volcanogenic agate localty. Not to be confused with the far better known Belorechensk in the northern Caucasus!


Chetlasski contains of peralkaline syenites, lamprophyre and carbonatites.

Aegirine Anatase Arfvedsonite Augite Biotite Corund Diopside Epidote Fluoroapatite Hastingsite Magnetite Monazite-(Ce) Nepheline Oligoclase Phlogopite Riebeckite Rutile Spinel Talc Titanite

Ievka reka
(Ievka river)

The Ievka river is a well known agate locality in volcanogenic rocks.

Inta coal district

Inta is a small coal district about 230km southwest of Vorkuta. Individual coal mines are the Eastern mine, Kapitalnaya mine and Inta mine.

Kanenin Nos

Kanenin Nos is the tip of the large peninsula  in the Barentz sea, just east of the White Sea. Kanenin Nos contains lenses of  syenite, monsonite and nephelinesyenite. 

Aegirine Biotite Microcline Muscovite Nepheline

Lomonosov diamond deposit

The Lomonosov diamond deposit is one of the larger diamond deposits within the so called Zimnyi Bereg diamond field (see below). The Lomonosov diamond deposit is located north of Arkhangelsk, roughly where the Zoloty river bends from east to northwest. The Lomonosova diamond field consists of six kimerlite pipes. Arkhangelskaya, Karpinsky-1, Karpinsky-2, Pionerskaya, Pomorskaya and Lomonosov.  The kimberlite pipes cut through soft Archean agrellite and sandstone and are covered with Carboniferous sediments. The field is worked by Severalmaz ("Northern Diamond') since 2003. 

Diamond exploration of Alrosa in Euriopean Russia, Viktor Istinov, Alrosa Co. Ltd.

Maly Kameshek

Maly Kameshek is a nepheline syenite intrusion with also quartz syenites.

Biotite Nepheline

Mys Chayachi

Analcime Barite Calcite Quartz (Agate, Chalcedony)


Contains peralkaline syenites and nepheline syenites.

Aegirine Augite Biotite Fluorite Fluoroapatite Hastingsite Melilite Nepheline

Seregovo salt dome

Seregovo is a salt dome that is mined since the 16th century. The rocksalt is of late proterozoic age. The caprock of this saltdome consists of diabase and dolerites of about 507 m.a. old.



A famous celestine locality at the Pinega river.


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kapitalnayamine-gulag-1956.jpg (23364 bytes) vorkuta-map2.jpg (363065 bytes)
click for photo's            click for maps   

Vorkuta is a famous coal mining center in the Timan area. There are numerous coal mines, many of them used as GuLAG labor camps. When I flew over the area I thought I saw burning coal dumps. Otherwise no mineralogy is known by me from here.

In documentation about the GuLAGs are numbered mines (1, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 16 and 40) I'm not sure these are actual mine numbers or mere the numbers of the labor camps associated with the mines. Today the mines are: 

Ayach-Yaga mine
Komsomolskaya mine
Nerusoviets mine
Okt'yaberkiy mine
Promyshlennaya mine
Severnaya mine
Shaft 18
Tsentyralnaya mine
Vorgashurskaya mine

Vorkutinskaya mine
Yun-Yaga mine
Zapolyarna mine
some mine of which I could not trace any name:


The Vorykva deposit is located in the central part of the Timan highland. It is an important bauxite locality


Zimnyi Bereg diamond field

Since diamond mining in the Arkhangelsk region became a hot topic only recently (mining started in 2003) there is still some confusion over the names. The diamond bearing district is named Zimnyi Bereg ("winter coast"). This is a stretch of land north from Arkhangelsk along the coast,  about 30-60km wide. The coastal area consists of Vendian rocks and further away from the coast is a middle to uppercarboniferous layer. Still further away from the coast is a Permian rock layer at the surface. These rocks make up the Arkhangelsk Alkaline Igneous Province. This province is devided into a number of fields (area's). These are named Arkhangelsk, Izhmozero, Chidvia, Zolotitsa, Pachuga, Kepino, Verkhotina and Mela. During the late devonian (380-260 ma) the baltic shield experienced a short period of intense magmatic activity, which also formed the  famous Khibiny and Lovozero massifs on Kola. At Zimnyi Bereg this activity resulted in the formation of numerous volcanic vents and diatremes. Many of these vents are diamondiferous kimberlite pipes. The Zolotitsa field is currently most famous, because it houses a group is rich diamond pipes also known as the Lomonosov diamond deposit. (see above). Another famous diamond pipe is the Grib pipe in the Kepino field. This rich pipe was discovered in 1996.

Cratonic Conditions beneath Arkhangelsk, Russia: Garnet peridotites from the Grib kimberlite; Malkovets et al, 8th international Kimberlite Conference Abstract
Eclogites from the Grib kimberlite pipe, Arkhangelsk Russia; Malkovets et al, 8th international Kimberlite Conference Abstract


North and East Europe, a brief review of mineral localities, A.A. Evseev, WoS 3/93 pp43-51