Status of Property: State Reserve, Urals branch of Russian Academy of Sciences
Area: 0.034 million ha
Situation: Inscribed on the Russian Tentative List
The Ilmensky mountains are a unique geological phenomenon famous for its semiprecious and rare-metal mineralisation of the pegmatite lodes and wine spread of the rare for the Urals alkaline rocks - nepheline syenites. The diversity of Ilmen mountain rocks are known as the "Ilmenogorsky complex".
In mineralogical sense the Ilmenogorsky complex is undoubtedly a unique geological object in the world. It is the mineral variety that gave the stimulus for the creation of the world's first mineralogical reserve here in 1920. At present there are 277 mineral species (more than 360 including varieties) on the territory of the Reserve. Compare: 1109 mineral species are registered on the whole territory of the Urals, 120 of them were described in the Ilmensky mountains for the first time in the Urals. Besides 18 species, new for the global mineral taxonomy were discovered in the Ilmensky mountains: ilmenite, aeschynite, monazite, cancrinite, chevkinite, chiolite, samarskite, ilmenorutile, fergusonite-beta-(C), ushkovite, svyazhinite, makarochkinite, fluororichterite, fluor magnesiumarfedsonite, kaliumsadanagait, polyakovite, ferriwinchite.
The minerals of the basic systematic groups are widely represented in the Ilmenogorsky complex: feldspars, amphiboles, pyroxenes, mica, as well as minerals of rare, rare-earth and radioactive elements. In particular, it has been found out as a result of special research that the group of amphiboles which counts around 110 species in the world taxonomy, is represented by 38 in the Ilmenogorsky complex (almost one third of all known amphiboles).
The Ilmenogorsky massif is typomorphic, and thus is includes in all the major geological guides and synoptic works in the world.
The territory of the Ilmensky Reserve is a wonderful natural laboratory. It has all the conditions necessary for the floristic, ecological, geo-botanic and soil research work, which reveal the specificity of the natural processes free from human intervention, which is of paramount importance. The intensive industrial development in the Urals often entails significant and at times irreversible alterations of the live nature. There is a danger of rare plant species extinction and destruction of precious plant associations. Thus the significance of the reserve status for the Ilmensky mountains can hardly be overvalued. Preserved from the destructive influence on the soil and flora, the Reserve represents a natural model of highly productive and self-regenerating plant associations.