Minerals of South America: table, list

The South American continent is the fourth largest and includes 12 independent states. What are the minerals of South America? Photo, description and list find out in our article.


The main territory is located within the Southand the Western Hemisphere, part is in the North. The continent is washed by the Pacific Ocean in the west and the Atlantic in the east, from North America it is separated by the Isthmus of Panama.

The continent's area, together with the islands of about 18million km. sq. m. The total number of residents is 275 million people, with a density of 22 people per square kilometer. The continent also includes nearby islands, some of which belong to other continent countries, for example the Falkland Islands (Great Britain), Guyana (France).

minerals of southern america

South America has a longnorth to south, which influenced the formation of contrasting weather and natural conditions. The continent is located in six climatic zones, from moderate to subequatorial. The latter occurs here twice. South America is considered the wettest continent, although in some areas there are deserts.

Minerals of South America (list - nextin the article) are very diverse, and soils and climate are favorable for agriculture. On the mainland there are many forests, rivers, and lakes, including the most full-flowing river in the world - the Amazon, as well as the largest freshwater lake of Titicaca.


The structure of the continent is quite simple, in spite ofthis, the minerals of South America are represented by a large number of deposits. Basically, the territory is divided into two large zones - mountain and lowland, which includes lowlands and plateaus.

The western part of the continent is represented by the longestmountain system - the Andes. Their length exceeds 9 thousand kilometers, and peaks rise above 6 thousand meters above the ground. The highest point is Mount Aconcagua.

Plain landscapes are located in the east. They occupy the main part of the mainland. A small spot in the north is the Guiana Plateau, along the edges of which there are numerous waterfalls and canyons.

Below is the Brazilian plateau,occupying more than half the territory of the continent. Due to the huge size and variety of conditions, the plateau is divided into three plateaus. Its highest point is Mount Bandeira (2897 m).

minerals of south america table

In the deflections between the mountains and plateaus areAmazonian, La Plata, Orinoco lowlands. Within their boundaries are deep river valleys. The lowlands are represented by an almost flat, monotonous relief.


The minerals of South America were formed over many centuries, in parallel with the formation of the continent. Territory, as in the case with the relief, is divided into the western and eastern zones.

The eastern part is South Americanplatform. It repeatedly went under the water, resulting in the formation of sedimentary (in descending places) and crystalline (in places of ascent) rocks. Metamorphic and igneous rocks emerge on the surface in the regions of the Brazilian and Guiana Plateaux.

minerals of southern america photos

The western part is a folded mountain beltin the Pacific ring of fire. Andes is the result of a collision of lithospheric plates. Their formation occurs now, as manifested in volcanic activity. There are two highest volcanoes on Earth, one of which (Ljullyaylako) is active.

Minerals of South America (briefly)

The continental mineral resources aremetal ores, especially iron and manganese, which are located within the Brazilian and Guiana flat shields. There are also deposits of diamonds, gold and bauxite.

As a result of Andean folding, inThese areas have formed various by nature minerals of South America. Ore and nonmetallic minerals are located in different parts of the mountain system. The former are located directly in the Andes and are represented by radioactive ores and non-ferrous metals, the latter being formed in the foothills. In the Andes there are also deposits of precious stones.

minerals of southern america

On the lowlands of the continent, in intermontane depressionsand depressions, formed sedimentary rocks. There are deposits of coal, natural gas and oil. These combustible resources are, for example, the Orinoco lowland, the Patagonian plateau, and the Tierra del Fuego archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean.

Minerals of South America (table)

Tectonic structure

Form of relief


South American Platform



Manganese, iron ore, gold, diamonds, bauxite, nickel, uranium, aluminum




Natural gas, coal, oil



New folding area

The mountains


Sodium nitrate, iodine, phosphorites, sulfur, copper, aluminum, iron, tin, tungsten, molybdenum, uranium, polymetallic, silver ores, gold, antimony, precious stones

Mining industry

The economic level of the countries of the continentvaries considerably. The most developed are Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela. They belong to the new industrial countries. The lowest level of development is observed in French Guiana, Bolivia, Ecuador, Suriname, Paraguay, Guyana. The rest of the countries are at the intermediate stage.

minerals of southern america list

Minerals of South America and their extractionplay an important role in the economy of most countries of the continent. In Venezuela, the mining industry accounts for 16% of the country's income. Here, as in Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, oil, coal and natural gas are mined. Colombia is rich in deposits of precious stones, it is even called the "country of emeralds."

Metal ores are mined in Chile, Suriname,Guyana, Brazil. Copper ore in Chile, oil in Venezuela, tin in Bolivia, is processed on-site, although many resources are exported in raw form.

For domestic consumption, there is absolutelya small amount of raw materials. The bulk goes on sale. Oil is exported, bauxite, tin, tungsten, antimony, molybdenum and other minerals of South America.

 minerals of South America, ore and non-metallic


On the continent are variousthe origin of mineral resources, due to the peculiarities in the geological structure of South America. In the folded western regions of the continent, magmatic and metamorphic rocks were formed. As a result, the largest quantity of minerals on the mainland was formed here, which are represented by ore and non-ore resources, sulfur, iodine, precious stones.

The rest of the continent is covered by plateaus withcrystalline and partially sedimentary rocks. There are deposits of bauxite, metal ores, gold. Significant areas cover lowlands and foothills. There are mainly combustible fossils (oil, gas, coal) formed by sedimentary rocks.