Friday, June 18, 2010

Afghan mineral deposits worth $3tn, says mining official via Cryptogon:

Afghanistan's untapped mineral wealth is worth at least $3tn – triple a US estimate made this week – according to the government's top mining official.

Geologists have known for decades that Afghanistan has vast deposits of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and other prized minerals, but a US briefing this week put a startling$1tn price tag on the reserves. Minister of Mines Wahidullah Shahrani said today that he had seen geological assessments and industry estimates that the minerals were worth at least $3tn.Critics of the war questioned why the country's mineral wealth was being promoted at a time when violence was on the rise and the international coalition was under pressure to prove its counterinsurgency strategy was working. US officials argued that if Afghanistan was seen to have a bright economic future, it could help convince people that securing the country was worth the fight. It could also give Afghans hope, they said.

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