Located atop three tectonic plates (North American, Pacific and Cocos Plates), Mexico is one of the most geologically active regions on Earth. This has resulted in a varied topography, which includes the three Sierra Madre mountain ranges, the Mexican Altiplano (or Central Mexican Plateau) and the flat lands of the Yucatan Peninsula. Also, The Tropic of Cancer (23
Located atop three tectonic plates (North American, Pacific and Cocos Plates), Mexico is one of the most geologically active regions on Earth. This has resulted in a varied topography, which includes the three Sierra Madre mountain ranges, the Mexican Altiplano (or Central Mexican Plateau) and the flat lands of the Yucatan Peninsula. Also, The Tropic of Cancer (23Â° 26' 22'' N) effectively divides the country into northern temperate and southern subtropical zones. Due to the combination of its climate, topography and extensive territory (1,972,550 square kilometers or 761,606 square miles, ranked 14th largest worldwide) Mexico is rich in natural resources:
Minerals: The mining sector was dominated by hydrocarbons, with some of the world's largest deposits of petroleum (17th) and natural gas (18th). Mexico is also ranked in the top 5 producers of silver (13% of world production), bismuth (20% of the world's total), celestite (7% of world output) and fluorspar (18% of world output); sixth in molybdenum; among the top 10 in barite, bentonite, arsenic, diatomite, graphite, cadmium, gypsum, mine lead, manganese ore, salt, sulfur, and mine zinc; and in the top 15 in mine copper, cement, gold, and crude steel (second largest producer in Latin America).
Fishing: With 9,330 kilometers (5,798 miles) of coast along the Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, fishery is very extensive in Mexico with a total catch of 1.02 million tonnes for 2007, accounting for 1.4% of the world's production and ranking at the 17th position.
Agriculture: This economic activity is another important area. Main crops include corn (ranked 4th worldwide), sorghum (4th), and beans (5th). Mexico is also a major producer and exporter of fruits, vegetables and other agricultural products, being among the top 10 producers of avocado, cacao, coffee, lemon, mango, orange, tomato, sugarcane, honey and banana. Mexico also has the climatic conditions which allow the production and export of cattle, pigs, goats and sheep.
Forestry: 39% of the Mexican territory is composed of forests and woodland. This includes scrub, oak and pine forests, low jungles and tall deciduous forests, combined with mangroves, marshes, and savannas. These forests are commonly used for providing timber - however wood production costs are 35-40% higher due to topography - as well as ecological and wildlife reserves and untapped pharmaceutical stores due to Mexico being a megadiverse country (see related questions).