The Pentagon promoting mining in Afghanistan. FAIL

16 06 2010

The push to develop a mining industry on the Afghan territory is not new. At the previous PDAC convention in March of this year, presentations were made to promote Afghanistan as a mining venue. A recent New York Times article however brought up a bit of superlative to the endeavour as it reported US discoveries of nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan. This politically opportunistic release looks like a sexy centerfold. Afghanistan could be the “Saudi Arabia of Lithium” according to the Pentagon. Facts have been heavily airbrushed.

Actual mineral exploration does not seem to have contributed significantly to the $1-trillion figure. My suspicion towards perfectly round numbers has been corroborated by  The British Geologist Survey who reported that:  “No systematic modern exploration has been carried out since the withdrawal of Soviet forces and many of the known localities warrant further investigation and exploration based on modern mineral deposit models and techniques.”

The New York Time wrote “The potential is so great that officials and executives in the industry believe it could attract heavy investment even before mines are profitable”. With such a statement, one wonders if those “discoveries” are not mines that closed down because of the war. I would also have thought investment preceded profits in mining… but that’s just me.

On June 25th, Afghanistan officials are supposed to stop by London to present the deposits. Super majors are supposed to be in attendance. They apparently are very interested in the deposits by that may be yet another superlative.

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