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.
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,”
-“There is stunning potential here,” Gen. David H. Petraeus, said in an interview on Saturday. “There are a lot of ifs, of course, but I think potentially it is hugely significant.”
-The value of the newly discovered mineral deposits dwarfs the size of Afghanistan’s existing war-bedraggled economy
The mineral discoveries will almost certainly have a double-edged impact.
-The discovery could lead the Afghan people to battle even harder for the control of their own nation
- American officials fear resource-hungry China will try to dominate the development of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth, which could upset the United States, given its heavy investment in the region (attack and occupation)
- Afghanistan has never had much heavy industry before, it has little or no history of environmental protection (ripe for exploitation)
The Pentagon is of course, right in the thick of this!
- Pentagon task force has already started trying to help the Afghans set up a system to deal with mineral development
-The Pentagon is helping Afghan officials arrange to start seeking bids on mineral rights
Background on this wealth of minerals
-Afghan geologists saved the documents by taking them home, conveniently returning them to the Geological Survey Library after the American invasion.(no year given for the return)
In 2004, American geologists, sent to Afghanistan as part of a broader reconstruction effort, 'stumbled across' (?) an intriguing series of old charts and data at the library of the Afghan Geological Survey in Kabul. ( That worked out nicely!)
-They soon learned that the data had been collected by Soviet mining experts, but then cast aside.
In 2006 the American geologists, armed with the maps begin a series of aerial surveys
Using advanced gravity and magnetic measuring equipment attached to an old Navy Orion P-3 aircraft that flew over about 70 percent of the country.
In 2007, the geologists returned for an even more sophisticated study. Equipped with instruments that offered a three-dimensional profile of mineral deposits below the earth’s surface. It was the most comprehensive geologic survey of Afghanistan ever conducted.
The handful of American geologists who pored over the new data said the results were astonishing. But the results gathered dust for two more years. (doubtful)
This whole article is written in a manner that makes this massive discovery sound as if it was all happenstance. As if everything just magically fell into place?
I have a problem with that. I don't believe it.
When I don't believe something, I dig a little further.....and here is what I found! Going back more then 7 years.....
March 3/2008: PDAC: Afghanistan's mineral wealth awaits
May 24/ 2007 Between a rock and a hard place
Afghanistan's natural resources include significant deposits of metals such as gold, silver, copper and zinc; precious and semi-precious stones including lapis, emerald and azure; and coal, natural gas and oil.Or from May 2003:Mineral-Rich Afghanistan a Valuable Corporate Property
This discovery is no surprise. The Obama administration may be desperate for some good news out of Afghanistan, so, this is making the mass media rounds at this time.
An aside, Canada will be staying put, mining is big Canadian business.
During a week-long visit to Canada, H.E. S. Ibrahim Adel, Afghanistan’s Minister of Mines, attended the annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) in Toronto and then paid a working visit to Ottawa, where he met Canadian officials and discussed the growth potential of the mining sector in Afghanistan.