Ukraine has a unique mineral resource base and by this indicator it comprises the part of the leading countries of the world. This is primarily due to the diversity of geological structure and a complex multistage history of its development.
The territory of Ukraine by the metallogenic zoning is divided into the following metallogenic provinces: Ukrainian Shield, Dniprovsko-Donetska metallogenic province, Dnister – Fore Black Sea metallogenic province, Carpathian-Crimean metallogenic province.
Metallogenic province of Ukrainian Shield includes Volyn, Podilska, Kirovograd, Middle-Dniprean and Azov sub-provinces and is characterized by the most variety of deposits. In addition to well-known types of minerals such as iron, titanium, uranium, some minerals new for the region are discovered. Specifically, granite-greenstone belts, developed in the Middle-Dniprean area (Surska, Verkhivtsivsko-Chortomlytska tectonic and metallogenic zones) are prominent in gold mineralization. The lithium pegmatite fields (Zvenigorodsko-Khmelivska, Fedorivska metallogenic zones) are discovered in the synclinal troughs and epicratonic depressions filled with Proterozoic volcanic-sedimentary formations.
Rare-metal ores related to sub-alkaline and alkaline rocks and confined to Sushchano-Perzhanska and Pryazovska tectonic-metallogenic zones, are the multi-component raw materials (tantalum, niobium, beryllium, zirconium, tin, molybdenum, lithium), which require integrated development. Korostenska and Korsun-Novomyrgorodska tectonic-metallogenic zones composed of rapakivi-granite and gabbro formations, are specialized for titanium, vanadium, and scandium.
Rather distinct gold deposits are discovered in relation with gneiss-granulite complexes, volcano-plutonic belts and activation zones (Golovanivska, Kirovogradska, tectonic- metallogenic zones). Volcano-plutonic belts in Volyn sub-province are prospective for sulfide-copper-nickel mineralization associated with pyroxenite-gabbro-norite and gabbro-dolerite-troctolite formations.
Dniprovsko-Donetska metallogenic province is characterized by the development of mercury, gold, polymetallic, copper mineralization, associated with carbonate-terrigenous, salt lagoon, evaporate and terrigenous red-color Paleozoic formations (Central, Bahmutsko-Nagolna tectonic-metallogenic zones).
The Dnister – Fore Black Sea metallogenic province is distinct in the native copper mineralization in Vendian flood basalts (Lukivsko-Ratnivska metallogenic zone) and fluorspar in Vendian terrigenous-continental formation (Podilsko-Dnisterska metallogenic zone).
For the Carpathian-Crimean metallogenic province is typical the mineralization of gold, polymetallic ores, mercury in andesite-basalt, liparite-dacite and green-schist formations (Transcarpathians, Marmaroska tectonic-metallogenic zone), and iron in the iron-sandy-clayey formation (Kerch iron ore area).
The basis of the mineral resource base of Ukraine comprises metallic mineral deposits that are represented by all groups of metals: ferrous, non-ferrous, precious, radioactive, rare and rare earth metals, trace elements (metals). Deposits of iron, manganese, uranium, and titanium ores are extensively developed nowadays in Ukraine; proven commercial reserves are estimated for deposits of copper, gold, chromium, nickel, beryllium, lithium, vanadium, scandium, lead, zinc, aluminum, niobium, tantalum, strontium, hafnium, cadmium, silver, and rare earth elements. As a result of prospecting and exploration works, the high probability of discovery of tungsten, tin, molybdenum, platinum, rare metals deposits is revealed.
High-prospective for molybdenum discovery is the north-western part of Ukrainian Shield where Ustynivska area of stockwork type ore bodies (Verbynskiy, Ustynivskiy, Vysokiy, Richytsya occurrences) is delineated in Perzhanske ore field. According to prospecting results, reserves by category C2 and prospective resources P1 are estimated in occurrences at the average molybdenum grade 0.32%. In the Middle-Dniprean within Surska greenstone structure East-Sergiivskiy occurrence is discovered in thick zones of vein-disseminated ores with molybdenum content 0.03-2.65% and prospective ore resources are estimated to the depth of 300 m. Certain probability of finding molybdenum-tungsten ores is related to sub-volcanic structures in Eastern Azov, where a range of occurrences is found: Verbove, Novoselivske, Kaplanivske, Kichiks, Barbarysivske and tungsten resources are preliminary estimated (at WO3 0.15% cut-off grade).
Prospects for the discovery of tin in Ukraine are related to the North-Western part of Ukrainian Shield. In Sushchano-Perzhanska area with granite and rare-metal metasomatites the tin-bearing formation of two genetic types are well known: columbite-cassiterite in placers and cassiterite-columbite in weathering crust. Later on a number of promising hard-rock ore occurrences were discovered that belong to cassiterite- (wolframite)-quartz type. These are first of all Zakhidniy, Karyerniy, Girnyatskiy, Zahidnoyastrubetskiy occurrences with average tin content 0.14-0.16%.