Natural resources of Venezuela - Summary and photos

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Despite the current intense economic, political and social crisis, Venezuela is a naturally rich territory. The abundance of natural resources in this "Land of Grace" made it one of the greatest economic and tourist powers in the world for much of the 20th century.

Venezuela is an oil country par excellence that has deposits of more than 40 types of minerals and precious stones, whose values are estimated in billions of dollars. In addition, it is a megadiverse country whose geography allows the coexistence of dozens of different ecosystems and biomes that are home to approximately 200 thousand species of animals and plants. If you wonder what they are the natural resources of Venezuela or what riches Venezuela has, we invite you to discover it by reading this interesting article by Ecologist Verde.

Oil in Venezuela

Venezuela's economy is fundamentally based on the extraction, refining and export of oil and its derivatives, since more than 80% of the country's exports correspond to the precious “black gold”.

Venezuela is one of the founding countries of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and it is estimated that under its soils lie the largest oil reserves on the planet, which in total represent more than 19% of world oil. According to Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), Venezuelan proven reserves of heavy crude oil exceeded 300 billion barrels for 2016 and, according to the country's Ministry of the Popular Power of Petroleum, the oil reserves amounted to 303.8 billion barrels in 2022.

In the Orinoco River basin there are more than 279 billion barrels of oil and in the Lake Maracaibo basin alone, there is more oil than in the national reserves of Mexico, Australia, Germany, Spain, Italy and Colombia combined.

If you want to know more about oil, we recommend that you take a look at this article on Is oil a renewable resource?

Natural gas in Venezuela

In 2016, Venezuela ranked number six in the ranking of countries with the largest natural gas reserves in the world. According to The World Factbook, in 2022 Venezuelan soil had approximately 5.739 trillion cubic meters of reserves of natural gas. Despite its natural abundance, hydrocarbon is not exported and, contradictorily, it is scarce in many Venezuelan households.

We leave you these other posts on What is natural gas and what it is for and the environmental impact of oil and natural gas, so you can learn more about the subject.

Iron in Venezuela

After oil, iron is the second mining resource with the highest export rate in Venezuela. By 2012, Venezuela had a reserve of 4,000 million tons of iron. For 2016, proven iron reserves increased to 4.1 billion tonnes and around 8.7 billion probable tonnes were estimated. According to President Nicolás Maduro and the Ministry of Popular Power for Ecosocialism, to 2022 Venezuela had 14,605 million tons of iron.

The largest reserves are located southeast of the Orinoco River, in the Guayana railway belt. The deposits of Cerro Bolívar, the Río Aro basin, Cerro El Pao and the Sierra de Imataca stand out.

Gold in Venezuela

Venezuela is the Latin American country with the largest proven gold reserves, since by 2022 these reserves accumulated a total of 147.4 metric tons and, by 2022, the value amounted to nearly 161.2 metric tons of gold. These data were provided by the Venezuelan government, so its veracity is frequently questioned.

The largest gold deposits are in Bolívar state, in the southeast of the country. In Venezuela, most of the gold mining it is done illegally, without any type of regulation and without taking into account the well-being of ecosystems.

Here's more information on how mineral extraction affects the environment.

Coltan in Venezuela

Coltan is a rock composed mainly of tantalite and columbite. It is known as blue gold and is highly demanded by technology industries to be used in the manufacturing of technological components for smartphones, computers, video game consoles and a wide variety of electronic devices.

Venezuela is part of the group of countries where it is possible to find this precious mineral and, although its reserves are substantial and its export could generate enormous profits that would benefit the country's development, the extraction and commercialization of coltan is controlled by crime gangs organized. The largest coltan deposits in Venezuela are located south of the Orinoco River and have an estimated value of 100 billion dollars.

Diamonds in Venezuela

Venezuela is one of the 10 countries with the largest reserves proven diamond. The largest deposits are found in the south of Bolívar state, along the Caroní river basin. According to President Nicolás Maduro, there are about 1,020 million carats of diamonds in the Mining Arc, with an estimated value of 152.7 billion dollars. A large percentage of the extraction of diamonds in Venezuela is made of illicit and harmful way For the enviroment.

We recommend this other post about the Main environmental problems in Venezuela so that you can have more information on the subject.

Other mining resources in Venezuela

In Venezuela there are large reserves of coal, aluminum, bauxite, copper, nickel, thorium, manganese and feldspar. To a lesser or greater extent, there is also an abundance of other mining resources such as:

  • Zinc
  • Titanium
  • Silver
  • Barium
  • The calcium
  • The Mercury
  • The Lead
  • Uranium
  • Sulfur
  • Beryllium
  • Silicon
  • Antimony
  • Tin
  • Chrome
  • Potassium
  • Kaolin
  • Kyanite
  • Pyrite
  • The Andalusian
  • Magnesite
  • Dolomite
  • Asbestos
  • Aquifer Quartz
  • The marble
  • Gypsum
  • The salt
  • Talc
  • Mica
  • Various types of clays, sands, phosphates and limestones

Here you can find more detailed information about Mineral Resources: what they are, classification, examples and importance.

National parks and wildlife reserves in Venezuela

The territorial extension of Venezuela is approximately 912,050 square kilometers and almost 23% of the territory is part of its 45 national parks, 36 natural monuments and numerous protected areas.

Venezuela has a very diverse geography and has nine natural regions that include a wide variety of biomes. The savannas of the llanera region, the beaches of the coast-mountain region, the coral reefs of the Caribbean Sea, the deserts of the Falcón state, the jungles of the Amazonas and Bolívar states, the tropical forests of the Guayana region, the mangroves stand out. that border the Orinoco River, the mountain ranges, mountains and snow-capped peaks of the Andean region and the tepuis of the Guiana massif.

Some of the most famous and visited natural tourist places in Venezuela are:

  • Canaima National Park: declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994.
  • Angel Falls: it is the largest waterfall in the world.
  • Pico Bolívar: it is the highest point in Venezuela.
  • Waraira Repano or El Ávila National Park: located in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela.
  • Mount Roraima.
  • Mochima National Park.
  • Los Médanos de Coro.
  • Maracaibo lake.
  • Los Roques Archipelago.
  • Margarita Island.
  • Morrocoy National Park.
  • El Guácharo National Park.

Discover more details about the natural regions of Venezuela in this other Green Ecologist article that we recommend.

Biodiversity of Venezuela

Venezuela ranks seventh among the 17 megadiverse countries in the world, it is home to around the 9% of the world's flora and fauna and it is one of the best places to do ecotourism. The biodiversity of Venezuela includes:

  • More of 1,418 species of birds: of which 48 are endemic. The turpial (national bird), the earwig hummingbird, the white-tailed hummingbird, the blue-yellow macaw, the red macaw, the harpy eagle, the Andean condor, the red corocoro, the multi-colored parakeet, the dirty-faced parakeet and the iris-billed toucan stand out.
  • About 360 species of amphibiansThe most outstanding are the Amazonian milk frog, the orange lemur frog, the poison dart frog, the Tepuyan frog, the yellow tree frog, the yellow coal frog, the yellow Mucubají toad, the Roraima rough toad and the coal salamander. .
  • About 405 species of reptiles: The Orinoco caiman, the baba, the anaconda, the rattlesnake, the rainbow boa, the green iguana, the Matamata turtle and the morrocoy stand out.
  • More of 2,000 species of fish: The cachama, the Orinoco piranha, the Andean babosito, the Cunaguaro catfish, the Guaire corroncho, the Maracaibo needle, the Aroa and Yaracuy sardine, the dogfish and the Caribbean reef shark stand out.
  • About 380 species of mammals: stand out the frontino bear, the chigüire, the tapir, the jaguar, the puma, the cunaguaro, the tonina, the capuchin monkey, the manatee, the blue whale, the araguato, the howler monkey, the white-tailed deer, the coati ring-tailed and laziness.
  • About 25,000 plant species: More than 350 varieties of orchids are included. Highlights include the araguaney (national tree), the flor de mayo (national flower), the merecure, the mamón, the mango, the monkey pot, the carnivorous plant Heliamphora chimantensis, the matapalo, the guayabo, the bird of paradise, the frailejón , the caracuey, the riqui riqui and the trinitaria.

Here you can read more about the animals of Venezuela, specifically, we present you 22 animals in danger of extinction in Venezuela.


Venezuelan cocoa is recognized worldwidel for its excellent quality. In Venezuela there are the necessary environmental conditions for the sowing and harvesting of criollo and Trinidadian cocoas, which are characterized by their aromatic taste, delicate bitterness and easy processing. Many chocolatiers in the world incorporate a little Venezuelan cocoa to their products to provide that finesse and delicacy that identify it.

Find out How to grow cocoa and chocolate at home, here.

If you want to read more articles similar to Natural resources of Venezuela, we recommend that you enter our category of Other environment.

  • Catanho, S. (2022). Venezuela's proven oil and gas reserves rise. Bolivarian government of Venezuela. Available at:ían-reservas-probadas-de-petroleo-y-gas-de-venezuela
  • Aponte, J. (2022). The countries with the largest oil reserves in the world. Fourteen 6. Available at: % 20es% 20el% 20pa% C3% ADs% 20l% C3% ADder, barrels% 20de% 20reserves% 20de% 20petr% C3% B3leo.
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  • de la Dehesa, G. (2022). The curse of natural resources: Venezuela and coltan. The country. Available at:
  • Mexico - Oil reserves 2022. (s. F.). Available at:
  • Germany - Oil reserves 2022. (s. F.). Available at:
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