Turkmenistan - Mining
Turkmenistan had the world's third-largest reserves of sulfur, and was a leading producer of natural gas. Its top industries in 2002 were the production of natural gas, oil, and petroleum products; gas and oil accounted for 33% and 30%, respectively, of its export earnings in 1999, and 90% of foreign direct investment went into the oil and natural gas sectors.
In 2000, outputs included: sulfur (mined at the Gaurdak complex, in the Gora deposit), 9,000 tons; gypsum, 150,000 tons (169,577 in 1996); sodium sulfate (from an extensive mirabilite site in the Gararbogazköl), 60,000 tons (30,820 in 1996; supplying 45% of the FSU's production); iodine, 150,000 tons (90,000 in 1998 and 34,600 in 1996); and nitrogen (content of ammonia), 75,000 tons. Turkmenistan also produced bentonite, bentonite powder, bischofite, cement, all of the FSU's supply of epsomite, ferrous bromide, lime, and salt (north of Nebitdag).
Ozocerite, iodine, and bromine were found on the Cheleken Peninsula and in Vyshka, Stantsiya. The Garabogaz Aylagy lagoon, off the Caspian Sea, was one of the world's largest sources of raw materials for the chemical industry; commercial interest in the salts of the region began at the end of the 19th century, and it supplied all of the FSU's supply of medicinal Glauber's salt. Other mineral deposits included potassium and polymetallic ores.