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Patterns of Economic Development

Mining

The extraction of minerals is an increasingly important economic activity in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The United States has been one of the world's leading petroleum producers for many years, Canada has been a major producer since the late 1940s, and Mexico became a world leader in oil production in the late 1970s. The United States ranks second among world natural-gas producers and is also a leader in mining coal, produced particularly in the vast Appalachian fields. Iron ore has long been a major product of both the United States and Canada, primarily from deposits around the western end of Lake Superior. More recently, much iron ore has been produced in the Quebec Province-Labrador border area of eastern Canada. Among the other minerals that have been recovered in quantity in North America are copper, silver, lead, zinc, nickel, sulfur, asbestos, uranium, phosphate rock, and potash.

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