A historical cohort study in workers occupationally exposed to chrysotile was set up in the town of Asbest, the Russian Federation, to study their cause-specific mortality, with a focus on cancer. Chrysotile has different chemical and physical properties compared with other asbestos fibres; therefore it is important to conduct studies specifically of chrysotile and in different geographical regions to improve the knowledge about its carcinogenicity. Setting was the town of Asbest, Sverdlovsk oblast, the Russian Federation. Participants were all current and former employees with at least one year of employment between 1/1/1975 and 31/12/2010 in the mine, enrichment factories, auto-transport and external rail transportation departments, the central laboratory, and the explosives unit of the company. Of the 35,837 cohort members, 12,729 (35.5%) had died (2,373 of them of cancer, including 10 of mesothelioma), 18,799 (52.5%) were known to be alive at the end of the observation period (2015), and 4,309 (12.0%) were censored before the end of 2015. Mean follow-up duration was 21.7 years in men and 25.9 years in women. The mean age at death was 59.4 years in men and 66.5 years in women. This is the largest occupational cohort of chrysotile workers to date, and the only one with a large proportion of exposed female workers.