About half of Colombia’s land is forested. To the north and west of the Andes, tropical forests line the major rivers and fringe the coastal areas. East of the Andes, the forests become denser as they approach the Orinoco and Amazon rivers. Pastureland occupies about 40 percent of the country and is mostly located in the basins between the Andean highlands. Cropland accounts for a mere 3.3 percent of the land, with no more than 1.5 percent supporting permanent crops.
Most of the arable land is found in patches on the Andean mountainsides.
The mineral resources of the country are varied and extensive. Colombia ranks as the world’s major source of emeralds, most of which are mined in the western department of Boyacá. Other significant reserves include petroleum and natural gas, located mostly in the northeast. Most coal deposits are located on the Guajira peninsula on the country’s northeast coast. Gold and silver are found dispersed in veins throughout the central highlands. Iron ore, salt, platinum, and uranium are other important natural resources of Colombia. "Colombia" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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