The Angara is navigable between Irkutsk and Bratsk; below Bratsk there are many rapids. At Bratsk is a large dam with one of the world's largest hydroelectric power plants (c.4.5 million kW); a smaller hydroelectric station is at Irkutsk. Two other dams span the river, making it one of the world's greatest sources of hydroelectric power. Iron, coal, and gold deposits are found in the Angara basin, and aluminum and pulp are processed.
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