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Afghanistan's mineral wealth

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Messenger: Eleazar Sent: 6/14/2010 4:35:29 PM

I think its interesting that the US has recently found $1 trillion worth of minerals in Afghanistan, this could be another pretense to stay involved in the region for years, Osama bin Laden found or not.

WASHINGTON — The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.

At War

The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe.

An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys.

The vast scale of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth was discovered by a small team of Pentagon officials and American geologists. The Afghan government and President Hamid Karzai were recently briefed, American officials said.

While it could take many years to develop a mining industry, the potential is so great that officials and executives in the industry believe it could attract heavy investment even before mines are profitable, providing the possibility of jobs that could distract from generations of war.

“There is stunning potential here,” Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the United States Central Command, said in an interview on Saturday. “There are a lot of ifs, of course, but I think potentially it is hugely significant.”

U.S. Identifies Vast Mineral Riches in Afghanistan

Messenger: Ark I Sent: 6/14/2010 4:37:39 PM

The US must be so excited about all the reaping they will be able to do in a place where they didn't sow any seeds.

Messenger: Fikre Jahnhoi Sent: 6/17/2010 1:24:16 AM

they are so lucky, they jus happen to find a trillion dolla worth of minerals in a country they are already in control of


Messenger: bredren aaron Sent: 6/17/2010 3:05:38 AM

Pon reading the article the only thing InI was picturing was all dem drooling over the greed of it all.

Messenger: Sister Ifua Sent: 7/2/2010 7:14:22 AM

"The US must be so excited about all the reaping they will be able to do in a place where they didn't sow any seeds."

As they use to do wherever they go. Babylon system is the vampire.

Messenger: Eleazar Sent: 7/18/2012 8:32:52 PM

The data distinguish a range of different minerals and snow or vegetation cover

Afghanistan has become the first country whose surface minerals have been mapped from the air.

The US Geological Survey released the results of a "hyperspectral imaging" effort, in which reflections of light shone from an aircraft are analysed.

Different minerals - as well as snow or vegetation - reflect specific colours, resulting in a "mineral map".

The map comprises more than 800 million data points corresponding to an area of 440,000 sq km, some 70% of the country.

Afghanistan is known to have vast reserves of oil, gas, copper, cobalt, gold and lithium. In late 2011, a consortium of Indian companies inked a deal to begin mining some of the country's large stores of iron.

But the country is known to have a wider array of mineral resources; in 2010, the Afghan ministry of mines claimed a value of its reserves of nearly a trillion dollars, then carrying out tours to promote investment in them.

But it remains to pin down which economically viable minerals are where, an effort for which the USGS's hyperspectral imaging expertise was enlisted.

In a series of 28 flights over 43 days, the USGS gathered the data by shining visible and infrared light from a height of 15,000m and using a camera to capture the reflections. Each "pixel" of the camera was analysed and correlated with the materials that reflect at a given colour.

The USGS public release of the data includes two maps: one of iron and iron-bearing minerals, and one of minerals principally containing carbon, silicon, or sulphur.

The survey was funded by the US Department of Defense's Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO) as well as the Afghan government.

"This is a tremendous tool for the Afghan government for locating and identifying its myriad rich mineral deposits," said TFBSO director Jim Bullion.

"These maps clearly show the enormous size and variety of Afghanistan's mineral wealth and position the country to become a world leader in the minerals sector."

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