The Talas-tau, sometimes known as the Urtak-tau, while the name of Ala-tau is also extended to cover it, has an average elevation of 14,000-15,000 ft., but lifts its snow-capped summits to 15,750 ft.; it is crossed by passes at 8000-10,650 ft.
But the chief wealth of the northern Altai is in the Kuznetsk coal-basin, also containing iron-ores, which fills up a valley between the Kuznetsk Ala-tau and the Salair range for a length of about 270 m., with a width of about 65 m.
The Altai proper is rich in silver, copper, lead and zinc ores, while in the Kuznetsk Ala-tau, gold, iron and coal are the chief mineral resources.
1 The passes over the Terskei Ala-tau and the plateau country to the south lie at great altitudes - at 13,560 ft.
From the middle of the Alexander Range another range (5) called Ala-tau, or Talastau, strikes west by south.