Soviet geologists started visiting foreign countries as early as in the 1930s beginning with South Africa, Mongolia and China. The actual Soviet geological activities were deployed abroad in the 1950s when the Foreign Liaison Directorate (FLD) was established under the USSR Ministry of Geology specifically for this purpose.
During the 1960-s, during the battle for spheres of influence between cold war participants, foreign country orientation of exploration activities in the USSR obtained a clear organizational form. JSC Zarubezhgeologia dates back to the Complex Expedition for Foreign Activities, which was included in the All-Union Aerogeological Trust (AUAGT) in 1964.
In 1965, the Scientific Research Laboratory for the Geology of Foreign Countries was founded to provide a scientific and methodological support of foreign exploration activities. Subsequently it was reorganized into the VNIIZarubezhgeologia research institute.
In December 1968, the expedition was reorganized into the Production Trust of Foreign Exploration Activities (Zarubezhgeologia Trust).
In April 1979, the USSR Ministry of Geology establishes the Association for Foreign Exploration Activities (Zarubezhgeologia) on the basis of Zarubezhgeologia Trust and VNIIZarubezhgeologia.
Then in 1986, the organization was renamed the All-Russian Self-Sustained Foreign Trade Association for Foreign Exploration Activities (FTA Zarubezhgeologia), and after the breakup of the Soviet Union it changed its name to the All-Russian Foreign Economic Association for Foreign Exploration Activities Zarubezhgeologia (FGUP FEA Zarubezhgeologia).
In 1998, the organization received the status of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise of the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation, All-Russian Foreign Economic Association Zarubezhgeologia (FSUE FEA Zarubezhgeologia).
In March 2008, the organization obtained the status of a joint-stock company – JSC Zarubezhgeologia.
In 2014, the Company was included into state-owned geological holding company JSC Rosgeologia incorporating 38 specialized exploration enterprises all over the country.
For nearly half a century, Zarubezhgeologia has been providing technical support in the conduct of geological prospecting works to 60 foreign countries delegating more than 30 thousand experts from Russia. They were directly engaged in large-scale geological surveys and exploration, deep-well drilling for oil and gas and for solid mineral resources, airborne and surface geophysical exploration, pit sampling, etc. As a result, hundreds of mineral deposits were discovered and explored: oil, gas, coal, non-ferrous and rare metals, diamonds, gold, bauxite, phosphate rocks, etc. Dozens of oil and gas, coal industry, gold and diamond, and metal production enterprises appeared on the basis of proven reserves of these deposits.
In fact, the mineral resource base of the national industry has been formed on the basis of Zarubezhgeologia activities in many countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Managers in the history of Zarubezhgeologia
The Complex Expedition for Foreign Activities was headed by Ivan G. Chuprov. He headed the organization till August 1974.
I.G. Chuprov was succeeded by Mikhail I. Nikulshin who headed the organization till 1998.
In 1998, FSUE FEA Zarubezhgeologia was headed by Igor T. Gavrilov, PhD, a highly qualified specialist who was in charge of the organization till July 2011.
From July 2011 to 2014 the organization was headed by Alla A. Zakharova-Gavrilova.