Top 10 Countries with the Most Natural Resources


Top 10 Countries with the Most Natural Resources

Natural resources are the raw materials used to make all the products we use, from semi-finished products to finished products. These resources are found in untapped reserves on Earth. 

Renewable energy refers to resources whose supply does not decrease with use, such as solar power, wind power, and hydroelectric power. Limited supplies of non-renewable resources, such as fossil fuels and mined metals, are depleted through extraction. 

Natural resources are found throughout the world, but geological processes tend to concentrate sediments.

According to Statista, the ten countries with the most valuable natural resource reserves, measured by the total estimated value in 2021, are:

Take out Points

Natural resources are valuable because they can be exploited and produce goods and services.

Natural resources occur naturally in the world and exist independently of humans.

Natural Resources are renewable and can be limited.

Mining is an important industry in many of the countries on the list.

Oil and gas also make up a large part of these countries' natural resources.

The United States has the largest proven coal reserves in the world. It is also rich in copper, lead, molybdenum, phosphates, rare earth elements, uranium, bauxite, gold, iron, mercury, nickel, potassium, silver, tungsten, zinc, oil, natural gas, timber and arable land.

Here are the Top 10 Countries with the Most Natural Resources

Top 10 Countries with the Most Natural Resources

1. Russia

According to Statista, Russia's natural resource endowment is worth $75 trillion. This amount includes coal, oil, natural gas, gold, timber and rare metals. Russia's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment gave a much lower estimate of $910 billion in 2019.

Russia has the largest proven natural gas reserves in the world, with 1.32 trillion cubic meters, equivalent to about 20% of the world total in 2020. Russia also has the second largest gold reserves, with gold reserves of 6,800 tons as of 2021, or more than 12% of global gold reserves.

Russia became the world's third largest oil producer in 2020, accounting for 12% of global oil supply. Russia's proven oil reserves are 107.8 billion barrels, ranking 6th in the world. In the industrial diamond sector, in 2021 China accounted for one third of global production and 61% of raw material reserves.


2. United States

Estimated value of US natural resources. Almost 90% of the $45 trillion is wood and coal. In fact, the United States is the largest producer of coal. As of 2020, it has the largest proven coal reserves in the world.

Other resources include significant deposits of copper, gold, oil and natural gas. This list includes molybdenum, phosphates, rare earth elements, uranium, bauxite, iron, mercury, nickel, potassium, silver, tungsten, zinc, oil, natural gas, timber and arable land.


3. Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is a small country in the Middle East, slightly larger than Mexico. Saudi Arabia's natural resources are worth $34.4 trillion, mostly oil.2 Since the discovery of oil in 1938, Saudi Arabia has been a major exporter. Representing 15% of global reserves in 2020, the country's economy is heavily dependent on oil exports. However, since 2015, natural gas production and processing has increased while oil has decreased. Other natural resources in Saudi Arabia include copper, feldspar, phosphate, silver, sulphur, tungsten and zinc.


4. Canada

Canada ranks 4th. The natural resources of this vast country are estimated at 33.2 trillion dollars. In terms of oil reserves, it ranks third after Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. The country's raw materials include industrial minerals such as gypsum, limestone, rock salt and potash, as well as energy minerals such as coal and uranium. Canadian metals include precious metals such as copper, lead, nickel, zinc, gold, platinum and silver. Canada is a large producer of natural gas.


5. Iran

Iran's natural resources are estimated at $27.3 trillion. In 2020, Vietnam was the fifth largest crude oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). In 2020, it was the third largest producer of natural gas in the world.14 Other natural resources include coal, chromium, copper, iron ore, lead, manganese, zinc, and sulfur. Arable land, pistachios, saffron and fruits also contribute to the assessed value.

There is a natural connection between the economy and the world's natural resources. As the global economy grows, so does the demand for raw materials.


6. China

China's natural resources are estimated at 23 trillion dollars. 90% of China's resources are coal and rare earth metals. Timber is another important natural resource in the country, as is arable land. Furthermore, the country has the largest hydropower potential in the world due to its natural water resources.

World key Fact of China

China's other resources include rice, oil and natural gas, as well as many metals such as gold, aluminum and minerals.


7. Brazil

Brazil's natural resources are worth $21.8 trillion. Includes gold, iron, oil and uranium. In 2019, Brazil was the eighth largest oil producer in the world. According to a 2018 assessment, 61.9% of the land is forest and 23.5% is permanent pasture. Mining focuses on bauxite, platinum, copper, gold, iron and tin. Wood is also a valuable natural resource. Brazil has enormous potential for hydropower.


8. Australia

Australia has approximately $19.9 trillion worth of natural resources, including coal, timber, copper, iron ore, gold and uranium. Australia, which accounts for about 80% of the United States, is a major producer of oil and liquefied natural gas. At the end of 2021, proven oil reserves stood at 2.4 billion barrels. 

In addition, Korea is also the largest net exporter of coal, accounting for 29% of global coal exports. Other natural resources include alumina, iron ore, copper, tin, gold, silver, uranium, nickel, tungsten, rare earth elements, mineral sands, lead, zinc and diamonds.


9. Iraq

Iraq has natural resources worth 15.9 trillion dollars. Desert areas contain oil, natural gas, phosphates and sulfur. Iraq is the second largest oil producer in OPEC. The country has the fifth largest crude oil reserves in the world and relies on crude oil exports for most of its income.


10. Venezuela

The natural resources of this South American country are estimated at 14.3 trillion dollars. These include iron, natural gas and oil. As of 2020, the country had the largest proven oil reserves in the world, although actual production has declined due to US sanctions. Venezuela also has the 10th largest natural gas reserves in the world. Other natural resources include iron ore, gold, bauxite, hydroelectric power and diamonds.


FAQs  on Countries with the Most Natural Resources 

Which Country has the Most Natural Resources?

Russia's natural resources are estimated at 75 trillion dollars. These include crude oil, natural gas, coal and rare earth metals. In 2021, it ranked third in the world in terms of industrial diamond production.

What are Examples of Renewable Natural Resources?

Examples on Earth include fresh water, soil, wood, solar energy, and wind. Renewable resources can be replaced naturally even if humanity depletes them. On the other hand, non-renewable natural resources such as metal ores, fossil fuels and minerals that exist on Earth are finite.

Why are forests an important natural resource? Some people believe that forests are important because they produce lumber, products for shelters, and other forms of construction. 

Others understand its importance to the health of our planet. Forests provide us with oxygen, remove harmful carbon dioxide and help regulate temperature. They also maintain the balance of the ecosystem by feeding and protecting many species of plants and animals.


Final Thought

Natural resources play an important role in a country's economic strategy. Many countries with large reserves of ore, oil or rare minerals can capitalize on this abundance to develop into developed countries. Resource-poor countries rely on global markets for these essential goods.

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