Extractive activity

An extractive activity is one that consists of obtaining natural resources located in the soil, subsoil or marine or continental waters. The collected products are then commercialized, without going through a transformation process.

Within this category of economic activity, we find fishing, mining, logging and the exploitation of hydrocarbons (gas and oil).

Characteristics of extractive activities

Among the characteristics of extractive activities are:

  • The goods sold have no added value. When going through a process, in other industries, its price rises. For example, in the case of minerals, by converting them into jewels, their price increases.
  • Many of these activities produce raw materials, such as all metals and oil. This means that they are subject to a fixed price in international financial markets.
  • They are businesses that, if developed indiscriminately, can end up with certain natural resources. In the case of fishing, for example, limits on extraction must be established in the breeding periods of certain species. Only in that way, its extinction is avoided.
  • These activities exist since the beginning of civilization, the methods used being those that have been developed to increase productivity.
  • They have a strong dependence on environmental conditions. For example, in the case of fishing, it can be affected by changes in sea temperature that decrease the population of certain species.

Subcategories of extractive activities

Within the main extractive activities we can distinguish subcategories.

On the one hand, in the case of fishing, there are three types:

  • Self-consumption:Its objective is to feed a certain group, for example, a small town with a port. Its marketing volumes are small.
  • Craft:It employs small boats and rudimentary tools. Small-scale extractions are made for human consumption.
  • Industrial:Use large ships and more advanced methods. A part of the catch, of some species such as anchovy and sardine, is sold to the fishmeal and fish oil industry.

On the other hand, mining can be classified in two:

  • Open pit mining:It develops on the surface of the land. It consists of the excavation of craters that allow to remove all the soil that covers the mineral deposit. It is an activity of high environmental impact.
  • Underground mining:The raw material is extracted from the subsoil to the surface by building galleries and wells.

Other meaning of extractive activity

Another meaning of extractive activity is that phase of fishing that aims to obtain hydrobiological resources. This can be done using different methods, such as network capture.

This activity can also be carried out in seas, rivers or lakes. Upon completion, we proceed with the distribution or direct sale of the product to the final consumer or to another industry that will use it as an input .


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