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Thread: U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan

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    U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan

    U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan - NYTimes.com

    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. 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.”

    The value of the newly discovered mineral deposits dwarfs the size of Afghanistan’s existing war-bedraggled economy, which is based largely on opium production and narcotics trafficking as well as aid from the United States and other industrialized countries. Afghanistan’s gross domestic product is only about $12 billion. “This will become the backbone of the Afghan economy,” said Jalil Jumriany, an adviser to the Afghan minister of mines.
    Wow, that's just...awesome. This could be a path to stability and prosperity for a country that seemed to have no hope of either.
    Last edited by RightinNYC; 06-14-10 at 02:03 AM.
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    Re: U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan - NYTimes.com



    Wow, that's just...awesome. This could be a path to stability and prosperity for a country that seemed to have no hope of either.
    Definitely, it could also create problems too. You'd have to stay to ensure one faction of the Afghan people don't take the recources all for themselves and shut out other ethnicities or anything stupid like that. Then you'd just end up with crap like Sierra Leone.

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    Re: U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan

    Natural resources tend to be of little value to local populace if they are just snatched up by local despots and exported. Instead, they need to form a real economy that uses local resource to manufacture a complete product and sell it. I'd suggest trying to build lithium battery producing factories or something comparable if you want any hope of an actual economy. The war is a serious impediment, but its better than just sending more troops and hoping the situation will get better.

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    Re: U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan

    Quote Originally Posted by Jetboogieman View Post
    Definitely, it could also create problems too. You'd have to stay to ensure one faction of the Afghan people don't take the recources all for themselves and shut out other ethnicities or anything stupid like that. Then you'd just end up with crap like Sierra Leone.
    Jet,

    I think such an eventuality would pose little problem to our military.

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    Re: U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan

    Quote Originally Posted by alms View Post
    Jet,

    I think such an eventuality would pose little problem to our military.
    What exactly are you disagreeing with me on here?

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    Re: U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan

    Bush just went to war in afghanistan for the minerals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    Re: U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan

    Quote Originally Posted by spud_meister View Post
    Bush just went to war in afghanistan for the minerals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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    Re: U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan

    Quote Originally Posted by spud_meister View Post
    Bush just went to war in afghanistan for the minerals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thank God, I was getting worried we weren't getting anything out of this haha.

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    Re: U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    Natural resources tend to be of little value to local populace if they are just snatched up by local despots and exported.
    Tell that to Australia. Their single most valuable exports are raw minerals and fuels not finished goods and they seem to be making a killing off of it.

    That being said developing factories to go ahead and add that extra value before export can't hurt.

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    Re: U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan

    Quote Originally Posted by Civil1z@tion View Post
    Tell that to Australia. Their single most valuable exports are raw minerals and fuels not finished goods and they seem to be making a killing off of it.

    That being said developing factories to go ahead and add that extra value before export can't hurt.
    Australia is not Afghanistan or (using jetboogieman's example) Sierre Leone. (Mind you - Sierre Leone seems to be on the brink of asking the UK to come in to help advise and bring technological progress to the country.)

    When I read this story - I saw the example that is Nigeria or Angola - countries blessed with vast resources but hindered by huge corruption. I hope this doesn't happen - if Al Q'aeda or one of the Taleban groups take power, that's an awful lot of money to spend on training terrorists.

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