FRANCE'S NATURAL RESOURCES
the natural resources of France are relatively limited in quantity.
France has some coal, iron ores, bauxite, and uranium; but the coal
veins are deep and difficult to work and are unsuitable for use in
the manufacture of steel. Iron ores are of a low grade, and the
uranium ore is found only in small quantities. Deposits of petroleum
are almost nonexistent, and natural gas reserves discovered (1951) at
Lacq in the Pyrenées are now nearly exhausted. Hydroelectric
production, although well developed, does not meet France's needs. On
the other hand, high-quality soils cover almost half the country's
surface, giving France an agricultural surplus that makes it an
exporter of food.
Daniel Noin; Reviewed by Anne Depigny and Agnes Jolivet.
Source: The New Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, Release #6, © 1993