Minerals of Cuba

Cuba is located in the Caribbean Sea. Caribbean Sea is part of North Atlantic Ocean. The country is combination of group of islands. The largest one is Cuba Island. These islands are formed by volcanic actions of volcanoes on the ocean bed. Cuba has a length of 1250 km and width of 191 km. The total area of Cuba is around 109884 sq.km. It has coastline of 5746 km. The main rock types are basalt, dolerite, granite, peridotite, pyroxenite, serpentinite, gneiss, sandstone and laterite. The islands were full of tropical forests with cedar trees. Some degraded forest patches were cleared and converted into tobacco and sugarcane fields. The soil supported such crops. Extraction of timber is also a major activity of the local people. Cuba is rich in minerals and building stones. It is the second highest producer of nickel after Russia. It has minerals like chromite, cobalt, iron ore, manganese ore, gold, limestone, gypsum, feldspar, zeolite, bentonite and asphalt. Cuba produces crude oil from its northern shore. Export of nickel, cobalt, chromite, gypsum, bentonite and zeolite provides good income to the country. The crude oil meets the local demand of the people. The mineral processing is limited to concentration and initial refining of minerals. Extraction of metal is limited to nickel and cobalt. The building materials like granite, basalt, dolerite, sandstone, gneiss and laterite are used for local constructions. Marble, granite and dolerite are used for making floor tiles and decorative stones. The mining and metal sector is to be developed for its contribution to the national economy. The stagnant economy may get boost by opening the economy for foreign direct investment. The policy of isolation is to be discontinued and tourism may be brought at par with other Caribbean islands like Trinidad, Tobago and Jamaica. The oil refining and mineral processing activities may be given priority to help the economic conditions of Cuba.