Despite its great tourism and
colourful culture, Spain is poor in natural resources. Most of Spain
has poor soil and limited rainfall, which makes it difficult to raise crops and the country also lacks many important industrial
raw materials. Spain's chief mined resource is the high grade iron ore found in the Cantabrian Mountains. These
mountains also contain coal, but the deposits are mostly of low quality. Other products mined in Spain include copper
lead, mercury, potash, pyrite, uranium, tungsten, gypsum, and zinc. Aside from the mining, thick forests once
covered much of Spain, but most of the trees were cut down through the years. Since the 1960's, government planting
programs have increased the amount of forested land.
Spain is poor in energy resources, with the exception
of coal. Rapid industrial growth has intensified the problems caused by insufficient oil reserves, dwindling supplies
of easily accesible high-quality coal, and inadequate water for power generation. Until the early 1980's, Spain increasingly
depended upon imported petroleum, and overall energy consumption continued to grow in the 1973-1979 period. Following
adjustment to a slower rate of economic growth and to the changed energy market of the 1970's, Spanish energy consumption
declined in the early 1980's.