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Land and Resources, Natural Resources

Italy is poor in natural resources, much of the land being unsuitable for agriculture due to mountainous terrain or unfavorable climate. Italy, moreover, is seriously deficient in basic natural resources such as coal. The most important mineral resources are natural gas, petroleum, lignite, sulfur, and pyrites. Other mineral deposits include lead, manganese, zinc, mercury, and bauxite. Many of these deposits are on the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. However, they had been heavily depleted by the early 1990s. Italy is rich in various types of building stone, notably marble. The coastal waters of Italy teem with fishes, of which sardine, tuna, and anchovy have the greatest commercial importance. Freshwater fishes include eels and trout.

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