Abstract Do natural resources influence political trust? I provide a new answer to this question by articulating a theory of political trust that relates to within-country variation in natural resource extraction rather than the more traditional empirical context of cross-country variation. The distributional consequences of natural resources within countries have a large, positive consequences on political trust. Residents within a mining district may experience disproportionate economic benefits compared to residents living in a non-mining district. These economic benefits, in turn, influence political trust. I test these arguments using Afrobarometer public opinion data in four democratic African states, namely Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa.