Iron, chiefly magnetite, is found on the eastern Urals, especially on the Blagodak, Vycok and Magnitnaya hills; the iron ore of the Zlatoust district is of very high quality. The Alapaev mines in the Tagil district in which manganese is worked are productive and developing rapidly. Metal is worked in Nadezhdinsk on a large scale, at Chusovaya and Lysva, near Perm and at Zlatoust. Coal production has reached pre-war level. The Kizelovsk mine produces the best quality and supplies the railway; anthracite is mined in Egorshin and along the Troitsk-Orsk railway. Brown coal, with a high calorific value, but much ash, is mined at Chelyabinsk and near Tagil. Four of the mines have cheapened cost by using electricity. The coal passes over into graphite towards the north. The vast peat resources of the district are being exploited for electric power, especially at Sverdlovsk and Zlatoust. Copper of good quality is found associated with sulphur pyrites and malachites, and in some cases with gold, silver, zinc, selenium and tellurium. In pre-war times it was exported in quantity; capital, however, is needed for its restoration and at present (1928) the Kyshtym and Kalatinsk mines only are work ing, while the Pyshminsk-Klyuchev is being kept in repair. In view of its importance in the electrical industry, the copper indus try will probably revive.
Gold was formerly an important product and there is a Gov ernment gold laboratory in Sverdlovsk. In pre-war times the annual output was 1o.9 tons, but it is now declining and the east Siberian goldfields are taking its place on the market. It was mainly a peasant industry centring on Mias, near Zlatoust, Sverdlovsk and Troitsk. The gold obtained from the sands in the south-east is not important. Platinum from the Urals formed 90% of the world market supply in pre-war times; it was first exploited in 1824 and is found in the Tagil district. In 1926 the platinum produced was 92,700 troy ounces, as against 157,453 in 1913: the fall was mainly due to lack of dredgers, but these are gradually being replaced. The salt works on the upper Kama are very ancient and produce about 18% of all the salt in Russia. Rich deposits of potassium salts have recently been discovered extending from Solikamsk in 59° 38' N., 56° 50' E., to Usolsk, the terminus of a branch railway from Perm : it is estimated that much will be available for export in addition to that used in local agriculture, and cheap water transport to Rostov-on-Don or Leningrad is available. Superphosphates are produced near Sverdlovsk and the upper Kama, soda at the Beresnikov factory, chromium ore is worked at Shaitansk, and dynamite and nitrite at Kyshtym. Sulphuric acid from the by-product sulphur of the copper is also produced. Asbestos is worked at Alapaev and near Sverdlovsk, and the output of asbestos sheets, asbetite and other products is greater than in pre-war times, partly because the other asbestos mines in the U.S.S.R. are not yet re-started (1928). The
Ural precious stones, especially emeralds, are famous and include chrysoberyl, topaz, beryl, tourmaline and amethyst.
Industries.—Of industrial enterprises, smelting and the mak ing of machinery and metal goods occupy the first place. Of special importance is the supply of agricultural machinery to Asiatic Russia, where demand at present far exceeds supply. Sverdlovsk, Perm, Zlatoust, and the Tagil district are centres for heavy industry. Railway repair shops exist here and at other points on the line. There are china, glass, cement, brick and worked stone industries, and aluminium is made from local bauxite. The fine building material is little exploited owing to transport difficulties. Of industries for local needs, leather is prepared in Kungur, Tyumen and Sverdlovsk, and footwear is made at Sarapul; cloth and linen products though greater than in 1913, do not meet the demand. Food products include flour, dairy produce, which is organized in about r,000 co-operative artels, brandy, beer and meat preserves. Makhorka tobacco is made and matches in Perm and Tyumen, where there are also saw mills, and cardboard works. In the Tagil district there is sawmilling, and a paper and cellulose industry. On the east of the Urals koustar or peasant industries are widely developed, and include small iron ware ; every variety of wood product from pitch and tar preparation to furniture making; leather goods; saddlery; flour milling and polishing of stone and marble.
Agriculture.—Much of the Uralsk area consists of the vast tundra of the north and the Yalmal peninsula, and is unsuitable for agriculture. Omitting this area, more than half of the re mainder is covered with coniferous or deciduous forest. In the val leys of the foothills and on the eastern plain is rich black earth, merging into less favourable, but still fertile, chestnut-coloured soil. In these areas cultivation is densest, wheat, with oats second, forms the main crop in the Troitsk, Chelyabinsk, Shadrinsk, Kurgan and Ishim districts, oats, with wheat second, in Irbit, Sverdlovsk, Tyumen and Zlatoust, while rye is the main crop in Sarapul and Tobolsk, and oats in the Upper Kama, Perm, Tagil and Kungur. Cultivation thins out with height on the Ural pla teau, and, in dependence on climate and soil conditions, almost disappears north of the Sverdlovsk-Omsk railway. Its northern limit on the east lies roughly along 57° N., and is markedly further south than on the west of the Urals. Isolated patches of potato and vegetable cultivation lie to the north in the alluvial river soil.