Afghan Mineral Deposits - $1T worth found

Discussion in 'Afghanistan' started by in_the_cheapseats, Jun 14, 2010.

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  1. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    Interesting little piece about the vast mineral deposits that have been identified in Afghanistan by US geologists. Some serious money and tech will be required to bootstrap the start ups and some serious protection as well to get the stuff out.

    China is already started its campaign to grab the resources using the same kind of approach as it has done in Africa.

    Anyone know where in the country these have been identified?

    A new industrialised Afghanistan anyone?
  2. Been known since the 1960's that there were numerous rare mineral deposits but the extent of them has only started become clear in the past few years.

    Copper has however been know about for a while. And guess what?

    In 2007 the China Metallurgical Group won the bidding for a copper mining project in Aybak amid allegations of a vast degree of corruption. Another surprise.
  3. In the late 70-s the Soviet Union started research of Afghanistan natural resources and began extraction of gas ...

    Why do you think the US was so anxious to help Afghan "freedom fighters" during the Soviet conflict; and why do you think the US went into Afghanistan and continue sitting there?

    Trans-Afghan pipeline goes through Herat and Kandahar; natural resources are mostly in the Northern regions.
  4. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    Thing is - China will at least have a fighting chance of getting the stuff out. Their rules are a little more relaxed on the physical realities of dealing with the locals in monetary terms (i.e bribes) + they aren't involved in soldiering in the area and therefore aren't tainted by a "fighting the war to exploit the country" argument that most of the Western nations will have.

    I expect China to win a lot more work going forward.
  5. They can't as I've already bagsied it all :)
  6. I think we should draw inspiration from "The Great Eascape" and start getting the squaddies to fill there pockets with minerals each time they come home....

    ...that way there will be an ever increasing mound of minerals at arrivals in Brize Norton.

  7. Honesty, if it is something like this in terms of scale you do come up with a good source of income and industry apart from drugs, drugs and some more drugs.
  8. Afghanistan's mineral wealth has long been known about.
    Shame that the UK and USA have spent great amounts of money and shed lots of blood to give it to the Chinese.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Most Third World countries probably curse the day that raw materials are discovered. You end up with disease-ridden shantytowns like the hellish pits in Congo and Brazil, where the peasants dig and the gangsters rob them blind.

    The issue here isn't the resources. It's who is willing to stump up the vast amount of capital to make extraction an economic option. Let alone the ongoing war and associated security costs, 'big mining' means roads, rail, freight handling, fuel, water, electric and so forth. The only people with the ready cash to do that stuff at the moment are the Saudis and Chinese. Neither have any great urge to stick their hand into the meatgrinder just now. It's actually in their interests (Saudi especially) for the war to continue. It deters the USA from further investment, and Saudi doesn't really want to see a successful US influenced democratic Islamic state. People might get ideas back home. If the Taliban win, then they can cash in on their Islamic credentials to get the contracts.

    China could happily buy the whole country, but why should it? It's cheaper to just buy off the Government, and let them rip off their own people. It's an approach that's served them well in Africa. As SmartasCarrots would point out, the Chinese are in it for the long term. Now they know it's there, there's no rush to dig it all up now. It'll keep.
  10. My Bold - it's already got these in abundance without the digging........
  11. It is not China that is "buying" Afghanistan, it is Shanghai Cooperation Organization (China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan) that is holding talks with Afghanistan to "help with its economic development".
  12. Is that the same Kyrgyzstan currently going up in flames as it hosts an anti-Uzbek pogrom, and begging for Russian troops to come in and 'stabilise' the situation?
    Fine ones to talk to when you need advice on helping with your economic development.
    It's China, with Russia and some client states hanging on the coat tails.
  13. Yep the railway has been laid right next to the Afghan border, Pakistan will provide full security.
  14. Mining of all of the " Rare Earths " elements , including Lithium could well be the next boom area ... for use in batteries and super efficient electric motors in " Electric Vehicles " . I am sure I read an article last year that approximately 80/90% of the known deposits of these earths are in China and there is a lot of activity to source elsewhere ... a good investment gamble would be Mining Companies specialising in their sourcing .