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Natural resource

Natural resources are commodities that are considered valuable in their relatively unmodified ( natural) form. A commodity is generally considered a natural resource when the primary activities associated with it are extraction and purification, as opposed to creation. Thus, mining, oil extraction, fishing, and forestry are generally considered natural-resource industries, while farming is not.

Natural resources are often classified into renewable and non-renewable resources. Renewable resources are generally living resources (fish and forests, for example), which can restock (renew) themselves at approximately the rate at which they are extracted. Non-living renewable natural resources include water, wind, tides and solar radiation - compare renewable energy.

Mineral resources are generally non-renewable and, once a site's non-renewable resource is exhausted, it is considered to be useless for future extraction -- barring technological improvements that allow economic extraction from the tailings.

Both extraction of the basic resource and refining it into a purer, directly usable form, (e.g., metals, refined oils) are generally considered natural-resource activities, even though the later may not necessarily occur near the former.

See also: fish, wood, metal, minerals, List of minerals, petroleum, mining, refining, prospecting, environment\n