Experience the Kursk Magnetic Anomaly

Belgorod Region

Russia Beyond
Russia Beyond
The Kursk Magnetic Anomaly… in Belgorod Region. 🗿 What? Yes! Despite its name, the area of the world’s largest iron ore reserve is located in three regions at once - Kursk, Belgorod and Orel.

The largest enterprise producing iron ore, Lebedinsky Mining and Processing Plant (GOK), is located in Belgorod Region. Due to the volume of extraction and its size (diameter - 5 km, depth - 500 m), the company has been included in the Guinness Book of Records twice. If this is not a reason to become an industrial tourist, then what is?!

How to visit the world’s largest iron ore quarry?

⚫️ It is located in the town of Gubkin, which is the easiest way to get there from Stary Oskol.

⚫️ The best time to visit is on weekdays from 11:00 to 14:00, except for Wednesdays.

⚫️ Tourists can visit only an observation deck near the quarry: it is not safe to go down without preparation and special instructions. But, an impressive view from the top of the quarry itself with seemingly tiny BelAZ trucks at the bottom is guaranteed!

⚫️ If you want to go to the observation deck, you must make an appointment in advance: contact the local visitor center and don’t forget to bring your ID and/or documents.

How is the ore extracted?

⛏️ To extract the rock from the ground, drilling and hauling equipment, excavators and dump trucks - over 130 units in total - work in the quarry every day.

💥 Once a week, on Wednesdays at noon, explosive operations are conducted there: on that day, tourists are not allowed to visit the observation deck.

🧑‍🏭 A few hours after an explosion, the loading of the mined ore begins: large dump trucks take the ore to the railroad tracks and load it into special railroad cars that take the ore to the surface of the open pit.

🚂 The length of the railroad tracks in the open pit is about 350 kilometers, which is almost half of the distance between Moscow and Belgorod.

⚙️ The ore is then crushed and goes through several stages of processing to become pure hot briquetted iron, from which steel is made.

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