Located in the remote Khabarovsk region, near the southwest of Okhotsk and southeast of Yakutsk, the Kondyor Massif is known as the mysterious geological wonder of Siberia, Russia with many rare metals.
The massif is a giant circular rock structure with a diameter of 8km and a height of 600m, which looks like an ancient giant crater when viewed from above. From satellite images, many people think that this geological structure resembles a giant hole created by a falling meteorite or the remnants of an inactive volcano.
However, according to experts, the most likely cause of the formation of this “wonder circle” is the result of molten magma from volcanic rock that crystallized below the surface more than 1 billion years ago, forming a perfect circle. This structure has also undergone long-term ground erosion.
According to Siberiantimes, there is a stream coming from the center of the Kondyor Massif, which is replenished with water from melting ice and snow on the cliff. Smaller streams also “contribute” to the Kondyor River, which flows out through a gap to the north of the massif.
Not only a mysterious geological wonder, Kondyor Massif is also known as “treasure mountain” because it contains many precious metals inside. Accordingly, small streams radiating from the rim contain platinum deposits in the form of crystals, ingots and grains along with many other precious metals such as gold and precious stones. They are considered the ‘best ever found’ in the world.
Gold-encrusted platinum crystal
In particular, this treasure mountain also contains a special mineral that only this place has, called Konderite – a mixture of copper, platinum, rhodium, lead and sulfur.
According to Siberiantimes, plutonium mining in the Kondyor Massif began in 1984. Platinum crystals from this massif also first appeared at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, USA in 1993. Normally, about 4 tons of platinum are mined here each year.