What Resources Do We Get From Deserts?

by Sarah DeWitt Ince; Updated September 26, 2017
The Arizona desert, just outside of Sedona.

The desert may seem like a wasteland that is devoid of life, but this dry earth has many buried treasures hidden within the sand that are useful natural resources. The most abundant natural resources are minerals such as copper, granite, mica and various types of clay. Desert plants are also natural resources that are used to make syrups, medicines and other products. All resources are naturally occurring substances that are taken from the earth and used for another purpose.


Close-up of bundles of fine copper wire

Copper is a red mineral found throughout the deserts of Nevada, Arizona, California and other areas across the world.This metal is in demand because it is used as a conductor for heat and electricity. Copper is used to make components and parts of electrical equipment. Manufactures also use copper to make pipes, tubing, tools, fixtures and much more.


Crystal chandelier

Crystals are clear rock formations found in Utah, California and other deserts throughout the world. Crystals are used to make parts for electrical equipment, but they are also polished and made into jewelry. There is a hot market for crystal earrings, necklaces and simple hanging crystals.

Agave Nectar

Agave portrait

Agave nectar is a cactus found in the deserts of Arizona, California and New Mexico, just to name a few. This plant grows low to the ground and varies in color depending on the particular variety. Some agave plants are more green while others are bluish-green. These plants are cultivated to make syrups, jams and other sweet treats. You can buy agave nectar in some grocery stores or at your local health food store.


Therapist placing quartz crystal on woman's forehead

Quartz is a common mineral found in deserts throughout the world. This mineral is used to manufacture goods such as building materials, and jewelry. Quartz is also ground down to make sandpaper and heat-resistant parts for industrial furnaces and vehicles.


Chinese traditional jade stone beads abstract background.

Jade is a mineral found in the desert throughout the world. This mineral is often carved into affordable jewelry such as earrings and necklaces. Most jade stones are green, but there are other color variations, too, such as yellow, purple and red. When polished, jade stones are shiny and glossy.


Gold chain

Gold is one of the most highly prized minerals found in the desert. In the United States, most gold mines are in California, but there is gold found in other states, too, and on other continents. Gold is often made into jewelry or pure gold bars. Just like other metals, gold works well as a conductor of heat and electricity, but this metal is mainly prized for its beauty and value.

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