The United States government has discovered nearly $1 trillion of mineral deposits, including iron ore, copper and lithium, in Afghanistan.
The New York Times reported on Sunday night, a vast trove of mineral deposits has been found by a team of Pentagon officials and American geologists in Afghanistan estimated to be worth nearly $1 trillion. The mineral deposits could serve as the foundation for a mining industry that transforms the country.
Not only huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, and gold are included in the previously unknown deposits but critical industrial metals like lithium is also included. Lithium is so big, and includes many minerals which 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. A game-changing revelation could be easily proved in the dicey strategy by minerals.
A small team of Pentagon officials and American geologists discovered the vast scale of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth. American officials said, “The Afghan government and President Hamid Karzai were recently briefed”.
Indications of the mineral deposits had been founded by the U.S. Geological survey in aerial surveys in 2006 and returned in 2007 to make a more intensive study. But their findings were not pursued until two years later when a Pentagon business development task force was transferred to Afghanistan and came upon the data.
Times said, the challenges posed by the discovery range from giving the Taliban a greater inducement to fight for control of the country to developing a mining industry under a government already riddled by corruption.
The commander of the United States Central Command Gen. David H. Petraeus said in an interview on Saturday, “There is stunning potential here”. “There are a lot of ifs, of course, but I think potentially it is hugely significant.”
Both American and Afghan officials agreed to discuss the mineral discoveries at a difficult moment in the war in Afghanistan. Only limited gains have been achieved by the American-led offensive in Marja in southern Afghanistan. Meanwhile, charges of corruption and favoritism continue to plague the Karzai government, and Mr. Karzai seems increasingly embittered toward the White House.
For some positive news to come out of Afghanistan, the Obama administration is hungry. The mineral discoveries will almost certainly have a double-edged impact, the American officials recognize.