The tonnage of goods carried amounts to about 16,000,000 tons, or 4 tons per inhabitant, which must be considered fairly large, especially as no great proportion of the tonnage consists of minerals on which there is usually a low freightage.
Minerals remained for the most part unworked, though the profitable coal fields and oil wells in Ferghana were used when disturbances in Trans-Caspia cut Turkestan off from the Baku oil, on which it relies entirely for its industrial life.
The chief minerals are sulphur, in the production of which Italy holds one of the first places, iron, zinc, lead; these, and, to a smaller extent, copper of an inferior quality, manganese and antimony, are successfully mined.
The astrological belief that plants, animals and minerals are under the influence of the planets is shown in the older names of some of the metals, e.g.
Molybdenum occurs in nature chiefly as the minerals molybdenite (MoS 2) and wulfenite (PbMo04), and more rarely as molybdic ochre (Moos) and ilsemannite; it also occurs in many iron ores.