An analysis is made of the distinctive features in the formation and development of the minerals and raw materials sector of the Republic of Buryatia which hamper its advancement. It is shown that it is a traditional branch of the region’s economy endowed with a large number of deposits of diverse raw materials, yet their industrial development is inadequate. It is determined that, along with the adverse conjuncture, the crisis phenomena, lack of funds, a severe climate, seismicity, difficult topography and a weak infrastructure have a negative influence. A critical impediment in the form of special ecological requirements in the Baikal natural territory is analyzed. A number of measures which would strengthen a further development of the minerals and raw materials complex of Buryatia are suggested. In the near future there is a need to revive the reproduction of the raw materials base in gold mining, launch the Ozernoe deposit and to start large-scale development of the Khiagda uranium ore field.Keywords: minerals and raw materials complex, Buryatia, negative phenomena, Baikal factor, gold, polymetals, uranium.