Afghan Minerals: An opportunity gone a-begging

Last Modified: Thu Feb 11 2016 09:42:42 GMT+0530 (India Standard Time)
  • $1 trillion
    value of untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, estimated by Pentagon and American geologists in 2010. These include huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and industrial metals like lithium.
  • $2 billion
    annual revenue, by some estimates, that development in minerals could produce in royalties and taxes. It is important for Afghanistan to move forward more quickly and smartly than it has. The country depends on foreign aid, which is declining as American troops withdraw, and needs to generate its own revenue.
  • $448 million
    American aid provided for development of minerals could be squandered according to a report published in April 2015 by John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction. Primary reason being, the Afghan government “still lacks the technical capacity to research, award and manage new contracts without external support.”