"Artiktuf"

"ARTIKTUF" (RU: "Артиктуф") is the productive consortium of the Ministry of industrial construction materials of the Armenian SSR for the extraction of the dimension stone for the walls, for the manufacturing of the artificial tuff blocks, tuff crushed gravel, sand, and tuff slabs for the facing. It is situated within the Artik and Achin districts, at the distance of 20 kilometres from the Leninakan city, on the north-western slope of the Aragats volcano. In the 1928, there has been created the "Artiktuf" combined enterprise on the basis of the Artik deposit of the volcanic tuffs, which are embedded on the slopes of the Aragats volcano. The centre of the extraction is the Artik city. The mechanized extraction of the dimension stone with the usage of the stone cutting machines has been started since the 1959, the manufacturing of the tuff slabs for the facing has been started since the 1967.

There are distinguished within the geological cross section the upper and lower horizons of the tuff lavas. The upper horizon, namely, the tuffs of the Artik type, are the finely porous glassy volcanic rocks with the inclusions of the feldspar and pumice, pink uniform pumice-like, with occasional patches of the black porous volcanic glass, namely, fiamme (the density is 1200-1500 kilograms per cubic metre, the resistance to deformation is 1-2.5 megapascals), and the tuffs of the Yerevan-Leninakan (pyroclastic) type, these tuffs are black, yellow, brown, sintered volcanic, the density of which is greater than that of the Artik ones, but the strength is lesser.

The average thickness of the horizon is 8.5 metres (the maximal one is 25 metres). The lower horizon contains the so-called dacitic tuffs, purple or yellow, dense, heavy, with great quantity of the hard alien inclusions; the density is 2200-2600 kilograms per cubic metre, the average thickness is more than 10 metres. The depth of the development does not exceed 6 metres.

During the extraction of the blocks, and of the dimension stone of the regular shape for the walls, there is used the single-stage, multi-bench and low-bench gripping system of the development with the help of the stone-cutting machines; during the semi-mechanized extraction of the roughly crushed stone for the walls with the "Ural-33" impinging machines, there is used the two-stage, multi-bench and high-bench frontal system of the development. The average annual extraction of the dimension tuff stone is 450 thousand cubic metres, the manufacturing of the slabs for the facing is 500, of the tuff crushed gravel and sand is 310, of the tuff blocks is 50 thousand cubic metres. The level of mechanization of the works is 70%. The wastes, which are formed during the extraction of the building stone, are partially used for the manufacturing of the tuff blocks, which are used for the construction of the industrial buildings and structures. There is conducted within the exhausted quarries the reclamation of the disturbed lands for their future usage for the agricultural purposes.