Exploration and mining of minerals
Since 1930th, the lands allocated later for Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site were considered as promising in terms of their mineral resources. There were revealed available there tungsten, beryllium, iron, and fluorite. When nuclear testing began there, any geological prospecting for commercial mining stopped. Upon closure of SNTS, its huge lands considered till 1991 as a military range, again attracted attention as a reserve of mineral resources. According to modern geological prospecting, there are areas and fields promising for gold, copper- porphyry (copper, molybdenum, gold), rear earth (tungsten, molybdenum) ore deposits and for coal mining. In the future, poorly studied territory of SNTS, if supported by investments, may become in Kazakhstan the most important ground for mining.
Also, gold mining at Naimanjal field is in progress at Semipalatinsk test site along with geological prospecting at gold fields Baltemir and Koskusuk there; table salt is produced at Zhaksytuz lake and sand-gravel mix is produced at fields Kovylnoye and Pridorojnoye.