Land and Resources, Natural Resources
Hormuz Island, Elburz Mountains, Zagros Mountains, Strait of Hormuz, Zanjan
Iran's extensive petroleum and natural gas deposits are located primarily in the southwestern province of Khuzestan and in the Persian Gulf. Iran also has one of the world's largest reserves of copper; deposits are located throughout the country, but the major lode lies in the central region between the cities of Yazd and Kerman. This region also serves as a center for the mining of bauxite, coal, iron ore, lead, and zinc. Additional coal mines operate throughout the Elburz Mountains; iron ore mines also exist near Zanjan in the northwest, near Mashhad in the northeast, and on Hormuz Island in the Strait of Hormuz. Iran also has valuable deposits of aluminum, chromite, gold, manganese, silver, tin, and tungsten, as well as various gemstones, such as amber, agate, lapis lazuli, and turquoise.
Although about one-third of Iranís total land area is arable, only 10.7 percent is under cultivation. An additional 6 percent of the total land is used for pasture. Forested areas, found primarily in the Elburz Mountains and the higher elevations of the Zagros Mountains, have declined slightly in recent decades and account for 4.5 percent of the total land area.
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