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Natural Resources by Country 2024

Republic of Congo (DRC) is considered the world's richest country in terms of natural resources.

A Mineral-Rich Nation

Figures from 2005 suggest 90% of the DRC’s revenues come from its minerals.

The DRC holds 70% of the world's coltan reserves, a third of its cobalt, more than 30% of its diamond reserves, and a tenth of its copper. These minerals are crucial for various industries, from electronics to renewable energy.

Cobalt, for instance, is vital for the lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles. In fact, global asset management firm AllianceBernstein has termed the DRC "the Saudi Arabia of the electric vehicle age."

The Mining Sector

Perhaps not surprisingly, mining is the backbone of the DRC's economy. The country’s mining operations are highly mechanized, particularly in the southern Katanga Province, where it’s possible to refine the metal ore removed from the earth.

Economic Challenges

Despite its abundant resources, the DRC faces numerous economic challenges. Falling resource prices have left its economy in decline since the mid-1980s.

In addition, much of the diamond production is artisanal. Experts believe a significant portion of the country's diamonds are smuggled out, making it challenging to quantify production levels accurately.

The Congolese citizens are among the poorest globally, and the country ranks low on the Corruption Perceptions Index. The uncertain legal framework, corruption, and lack of infrastructure have led foreign businesses to curtail operations, further hampering economic growth.

International Involvement

International organizations like the IMF and World Bank have been working with the Congolese government to develop a coherent economic plan, with the World Bank granting the DRC up to $1.3 billion in assistance funds from 2007 to 2010.

The Central Bank of the Congo is responsible for the Congolese franc, the country's primary currency. However, much of the economic activity, particularly in the artisanal mining sector, remains outside official GDP data, making it difficult to assess the efficacy of these efforts.

The Road Ahead

Managed responsibly and equitably, the DRC's natural resources and untapped wealth could catalyze revolutionary change. However, making it happen will require overcoming significant economic and governance challenges.

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Country
Natural Resources
AfghanistanArable Land | Barites | Chromite | Coal | Copper | Iron Ore | Lead | Natural Gas | Petroleum | Precious and Semiprecious Stones | Salt | Sulfur | Talc | Zinc
AlbaniaArable Land | Bauxite | Chromite | Coal | Copper | Hydropower | Iron Ore | Natural Gas | Nickel | Petroleum | Salt | Timber
AlgeriaIron Ore | Lead | Natural Gas | Petroleum | Phosphates | Uranium | Zinc
American SamoaPumice | Pumicite
AndorraHydropower | Iron Ore | Lead | Mineral Water | Timber
AngolaBauxite | Copper | Diamonds | Feldspar | Gold | Iron Ore | Petroleum | Phosphates | Uranium
AnguillaFish | Lobster | Salt
ArgentinaArable Land | Copper | Fertile plains of the pampas | Iron Ore | Lead | Manganese | Petroleum | Tin | Uranium | Zinc
ArmeniaBauxite | Copper | Gold | Molybdenum | Zinc
ArubaWhite sandy beaches foster tourism (negligible)
AustraliaAlumina | Coal | Copper | Diamonds | Gold | Iron Ore | Lead | Lithium | Mineral Sands | Natural Gas | Nickel | Opals | Potash (Potassium) | Petroleum | Rare Earth Elements | Silver | Tin | Tungsten | Uranium | Zinc
AustriaAntimony | Coal | Copper | Graphite | Hydropower | Iron Ore | Lignite | Magnesite | Oil | Salt | Timber | Tungsten | Zinc
AzerbaijanBauxite | Iron Ore | Natural Gas | Nonferrous Metals | Petroleum
BahamasArable Land | Aragonite | Salt | Timber
BahrainAssociated and Nonassociated Natural Gas | Fish | Oil | Pearls
BangladeshArable Land | Coal | Natural Gas | Timber
BarbadosFish | Natural Gas | Petroleum
BelarusChalk | Clay | Dolomitic Limestone | Granite | Marl | Peat Deposits | Sand | Small Quantities of Oil and Natural Gas | Timber
BelgiumArable Land | Carbonates | Construction Materials | Silica Sand
BelizeArable Land Potential | Fish | Hydropower | Timber
BeninLimestone | Marble | Small Offshore Oil Deposits Timber
BermudaLimestone | Pleasant Climate Fostering Tourism
BhutanCalcium Carbonate | Gypsum | Hydropower | Timber
BoliviaAntimony | Gold | Hydropower | Iron | Lead | Lithium | Natural Gas | Petroleum | Silver | Tin | Timber | Tungsten | Zinc
Bosnia and HerzegovinaAntimony | Bauxite | Chromite | Clay | Cobalt | Coal | Copper | Gypsum | Hydropower | Iron Ore | Lead | Manganese | Nickel | Salt | Sand | Timber | Zinc
BotswanaCoal | Copper | Diamonds | Iron Ore | Nickel | Potash | Salt | Silver
BrazilAlumina | Bauxite | Beryllium | Gold | Hydropower | Iron Ore | Manganese | Nickel | Niobium | Petroleum | Phosphates | Platinum | Rare Earth Elements | Tantalum | Timber | Tin | Uranium
British Virgin IslandsNegligible: Pleasant Climate, Beaches Foster Tourism
BruneiNatural Gas | Petroleum | Timber
BulgariaArable Land | Bauxite | Coal | Copper | Lead | Timber | Zinc
Burkina FasoGold | Limestone | Marble | Manganese | Phosphates | Pumice | Salt | Zinc
BurundiArable Land | Cobalt | Copper | Gold | Hydropower | Kaolin | Limestone | Nickel | Niobium | Peat | Platinum | Rare Earth Oxides | Tantalum | Tin | Tungsten | Uranium | Vanadium
CambodiaArable Land | Gas | Gemstones | Hydropower Potential | Iron Ore | Manganese | Oil | Phosphates | Timber
CameroonBauxite | Hydropower | Iron Ore | Petroleum | Timber
CanadaBauxite | Coal | Copper | Diamonds | Fish | Gold | Hydropower | Iron Ore | Lead | Molybdenum | Natural Gas | Nickel | Petroleum | Potash | Rare Earth Elements | Silver | Timber | Uranium | Wildlife | Zinc
Cape VerdeBasalt Rock | Clay | Fish | Gypsum | Kaolin | Limestone | Salt
Cayman IslandsClimate and Beaches that Foster Tourism | Fish
Central African RepublicDiamonds | Gold | Hydropower | Oil | Timber | Uranium
ChadFish | Gold | Kaolin | Limestone | Natron | Petroleum | Salt | Sand and Gravel | Uranium
ChileCopper | Hydropower | Iron Ore | Molybdenum | Nitrates | Precious Metals | Timber
ChinaAluminum | Antimony | Arable Land | Arsenic | Bismuth | Cadmium | Cobalt | Coal | Ferrosilicon | Gallium | Germanium | Hafnium | Hydropower Potential (World's Largest) | Indium | Iron Ore | Lead | Lithium | Magnesium | Magnetite | Manganese | Mercury | Molybdenum | Natural Gas | Petroleum | Rare Earth Elements | Selenium | Strontium | Tantalum | Tellurium | Tin | Titanium | Tungsten | Uranium | Vanadium | Zinc
ColombiaCoal | Copper | Emeralds | Gold | Hydropower | Iron Ore | Natural Gas | Nickel | Petroleum
ComorosFish
DR CongoCoal | Cobalt | Copper | Gold | Hydropower | Industrial and Gem Diamonds | Manganese | Niobium | Petroleum | Silver | Tantalum | Timber | Tin | Uranium | Zinc
JordanPhosphates | Potash | Shale Oil
KazakhstanBauxite | Chrome Ore | Coal | Cobalt | Copper | Gold | Iron Ore | Lead | Manganese | Molybdenum | Natural Gas | Nickel | Petroleum | Uranium | Zinc
KenyaDiatomite | Fluorspar | Gemstones | Gypsum | Hydropower | Limestone | Salt | Soda Ash | Wildlife | Zinc |
KiribatiCoconuts (Copra) | Fish | Phosphate (Production Discontinued in 1979)
KuwaitFish | Natural Gas | Petroleum | Shrimp
KyrgyzstanAbundant Hydropower | Bismuth | Gold | Lead | Locally Exploitable Coal, Oil, and Natural Gas | Mercury | Other Deposits of Nepheline | Rare Earth Metals | Zinc
LaosGemstones | Gold | Gypsum | Hydropower | Timber | Tin
LatviaAmber | Arable Land | Dolomite | Hydropower | Limestone | Peat | Timber
LebanonArable Land | Iron Ore | Limestone | Salt | Water-Surplus State in a Water-Deficit Region
LesothoAgricultural and Grazing Land | Building Stone | Clay | Diamonds | Sand | Water
LiberiaDiamonds | Gold | Hydropower | Iron Ore | Timber
LibyaGypsum | Natural Gas | Petroleum
LiechtensteinArable Land | Hydroelectric Potential
LithuaniaAmber | Arable Land | Peat
LuxembourgArable Land | Iron Ore (No Longer Exploited)
MacauNegligible
MadagascarBauxite | Chromite | Coal | Fish | Graphite | Hydropower | Mica | Quartz | Rare Earth Elements | Salt | Semiprecious Stones | Tar Sands
MalawiArable Land | Coal (Unexploited Deposits) | Hydropower | Limestone | Uranium (Unexploited Deposits) | Bauxite (Unexploited Deposits)
MalaysiaBauxite | Copper | Iron Ore | Natural Gas | Petroleum | Timber | Tin
MaldivesFish
MaliBauxite (Note: Known but Not Exploited) | Copper (Note: Known but Not Exploited) | Gold | Granite (Note: Known but Not Exploited) | Gypsum | Hydropower | Iron Ore (Note: Known but Not Exploited) | Kaolin | Limestone | Manganese (Note: Known but Not Exploited) | Phosphates | Salt | Tin (Note: Known but Not Exploited) | Uranium (Note: Known but Not Exploited)
MaltaArable Land | Limestone | Salt
Marshall IslandsCoconut Products | Deep Seabed Minerals | Marine Products
MauritaniaCopper | Diamonds | Fish | Gold | Gypsum | Iron Ore | Oil | Phosphate
MauritiusArable Land | Fish
MexicoAntimony | Copper | Gold | Lead | Natural Gas | Petroleum | Silver | Timber | Zinc
MicronesiaDeep-Seabed Minerals | Marine Products | Phosphate | Timber
MoldovaArable Land | Gypsum | Lignite | Limestone | Phosphorites
MonacoNone
MongoliaCoal | Copper | Fluorspar | Gold | Iron | Molybdenum | Nickel | Oil | Phosphates | Silver | Tin | Tungsten | Zinc
MontenegroBauxite | Hydroelectricity
MontserratNegligible
MoroccoFish | Iron Ore | Lead | Manganese | Phosphates | Salt | Zinc
MozambiqueCoal | Graphite | Hydropower | Natural Gas | Tantalum | Titanium
MyanmarAntimony | Arable Land | Coal | Copper | Hydropower | Lead | Limestone | Marble | Natural Gas | Petroleum | Precious Stones | Timber | Tin | Tungsten | Zinc
NamibiaCadmium | Copper | Diamonds | Fish | Gold | Hydropower | Lead | Lithium | Salt | Silver | Tantalum | Tin | Tungsten | Uranium | Zinc | Note - Suspected Deposits of Oil, Coal, and Iron Ore
NauruFish | Phosphates
NepalCobalt | Copper | Hydropower | Iron Ore | Quartz | Scenic Beauty | Small Deposits of Lignite | Timber | Water
NetherlandsArable Land | Limestone | Natural Gas | Peat | Petroleum | Salt | Sand and Gravel
New CaledoniaChrome | Cobalt | Gold | Iron | Lead | Manganese | Nickel | Silver
North KoreaCoal | Copper | Graphite | Hydropower | Iron Ore | Lead | Limestone | Magnesite | Precious Metals | Zinc
SlovakiaArable Land | Copper (Small Amounts) | Iron Ore (Small Amounts) | Lignite | Manganese Ore (Small Amounts) | Salt
SloveniaBuilding Stone | Forests | Hydropower | Lead | Lignite | Zinc
Solomon IslandsBauxite | Fish | Forests | Gold | Lead | Nickel | Phosphates | Zinc
SomaliaBauxite (Largely Unexploited Reserves) | Copper (Largely Unexploited Reserves) | Gypsum (Largely Unexploited Reserves) | Iron Ore (Largely Unexploited Reserves) | Natural Gas (Likely Reserves) | Salt (Largely Unexploited Reserves) | Tin (Largely Unexploited Reserves) | Uranium (Largely Unexploited Reserves) | Note - Likely Oil Reserves
South AfricaAntimony | Chromium | Coal | Copper | Gem Diamonds | Gold | Iron Ore | Manganese | Natural Gas | Nickel | Phosphates | Platinum | Rare Earth Elements | Salt | Tin | Uranium | Vanadium
South KoreaCoal | Graphite | Hydropower Potential | Lead | Molybdenum | Tungsten
South SudanAgricultural Land (Fertile) | Chromium Ore | Copper | Diamonds | Gold | Hardwoods | Hydropower | Iron Ore | Limestone | Mica | Petroleum | Silver | Tungsten | Zinc
SpainArable Land | Coal | Copper | Fluorspar | Gypsum | Hydropower | Iron Ore | Kaolin | Lead | Lignite | Magnesite | Mercury | Potash | Pyrites | Sepiolite | Tungsten | Uranium | Zinc
Sri LankaArable Land | Clay | Gems | Graphite | Hydropower | Limestone | Mineral Sands | Phosphates
SudanChromium Ore (Small Reserves) | Copper (Small Reserves) | Gold (Small Reserves) | Hydropower | Iron Ore (Small Reserves) | Mica (Small Reserves) | Petroleum | Silver (Small Reserves) | Tungsten (Small Reserves) | Zinc (Small Reserves)
SurinameBauxite | Copper (Small Amounts) | Fish | Gold | Hydropower | Iron Ore (Small Amounts) | Kaolin | Nickel (Small Amounts) | Platinum (Small Amounts) | Shrimp | Timber
SwedenArsenic | Copper | Feldspar | Gold | Hydropower | Iron Ore | Lead | Silver | Timber | Tungsten | Uranium | Zinc
SwitzerlandHydropower Potential | Salt | Timber
SyriaAsphalt | Chrome and Manganese Ores | Gypsum | Hydropower | Iron Ore | Marble | Petroleum | Phosphates | Rock Salt
TaiwanArable Land | Asbestos (Small Deposits) | Coal (Small Deposits) | Limestone (Small Deposits) | Marble (Small Deposits) | Natural Gas (Small Deposits)
TajikistanAntimony | Brown Coal | Gold | Hydropower | Lead | Mercury | Petroleum (Some) | Silver | Tungsten | Uranium | Zinc
TanzaniaCoal | Diamonds | Gemstones (Including Tanzanite, found only in Tanzania) | Gold | Hydropower | Iron Ore | Natural Gas | Nickel | Phosphates | Tin
ThailandArable Land | Fish | Fluorite | Gypsum | Lead | Lignite | Natural Gas | Rubber | Tantalum | Timber | Tin | Tungsten |
TogoArable Land | Limestone | Marble | Phosphates
TokelauFisheries
TongaArable Land | Fish
Trinidad and TobagoAsphalt | Natural Gas | Petroleum
TunisiaIron Ore | Lead | Petroleum | Phosphates | Salt | Zinc
TurkeyAntimony | Arable Land | Barite | Borate | Celestite (Strontium) | Chromium | Clay | Copper | Emery | Feldspar | Gold | Hydropower | Iron Ore | Limestone | Magnesite | Marble | Mercury | Perlite | Pumice | Pyrites (Sulfur)
TurkmenistanNatural Gas | Petroleum | Salt | Sulfur
Turks and Caicos IslandsConch | Spiny Lobster
TuvaluCoconut (Copra) | Fish
UgandaArable Land | Cobalt | Copper | Gold | Hydropower | Limestone | Salt
UkraineArable Land | Coal | Graphite | Iron Ore | Kaolin | Magnesium | Manganese | Mercury | Natural Gas | Nickel | Oil | Salt | Sulfur | Timber | Titanium
United Arab EmiratesNatural Gas | Petroleum
United KingdomArable Land | Chalk | Clay | Coal | Gold | Gypsum | Iron Ore | Lead | Limestone | Natural Gas | Petroleum | Potash | Salt | Silica Sand | Slate | Tin | Zinc
United StatesArable Land | Bauxite | Coal | Copper | Gold | Iron | Lead | Mercury | Molybdenum | Natural Gas | Nickel | Petroleum | Phosphates | Potash | Rare Earth Elements | Silver | Timber | Tungsten | Uranium | Zinc |
UruguayArable Land | Fish | Hydropower | Minor Minerals
UzbekistanCoal | Copper | Gold | Lead | Molybdenum | Natural Gas | Petroleum | Silver | Tungsten | Uranium
VanuatuFish | Hardwood Forests | Manganese
VenezuelaBauxite | Diamonds | Gold | Hydropower | Iron Ore | Natural Gas | Other Minerals | Petroleum
VietnamAntimony | Arable Land | Bauxite | Chromate | Coal | Hydropower | Manganese | Offshore Oil and Gas Deposits | Phosphates | Rare Earth Elements | Timber
Wallis and FutunaNEGL
YemenCoal (Small Deposits) | Copper (Small Deposits) | Fertile Soil in West | Fish | Gold (Small Deposits) | Lead (Small Deposits) | Marble | Nickel (Small Deposits) | Petroleum | Rock Salt
ZambiaCoal | Cobalt | Copper | Emeralds | Gold | Hydropower | Lead | Silver | Uranium | Zinc
ZimbabweAsbestos | Chromium Ore | Coal | Copper | Gold | Iron Ore | Nickel
showing: 126 rows

Which country has the most natural resources?

The Democratic Republic of Congo is the most resource-rich country on the planet

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