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Land and Resources, Natural Resources

Land is a significant natural resource for Brazil. Although fertile soil is limited, the country produces many different types of crops and livestock. Despite its importance as an agricultural producer, only 40 percent of Brazil's land area is classified as farm land. Moreover, just 6 percent of Brazil's total land area actually produces crops; the remainder is either grassland, woodland, or uncultivated fields. Most of the east and south have been cleared for farming, but 3.31 million sq km (1.28 million sq mi) of rain forest remain in Brazil. These rain forests produce not only timber, but also a range of products such as rubber, palm oil, charcoal, and Brazil nuts.

Mineral resources are particularly important for export and as raw material for industrial use. The most important, in terms of value of output, are iron ore and gold. Copper, zinc, bauxite, manganese, and tin are also significant. Limestone, sea salt, diamonds, and phosphates are leading nonmetallic minerals.

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