Data from the U.S. Geological Survey indicates that Afghanistan may hold unexplored mineral reserves worth as much as $1 trillion, and the government of Afghanistan estimated the figure at as high as $3 trillion, according to an article posted in 2012 by the Embassy of Afghanistan, Washington D.C.
Afghanistan may become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” the New York Times in 2010 quoted an internal Pentagon memo as saying.
The country already has “an extensive, small-scale mining industry,” with countless mines pulling out gemstones and other mineral specimens, said King. However, “big mining is near non-existent.”
Afghanistan has “abundant” mineral resources, but most have “not been successfully developed, nor have the resources been systematically explored since the 1970s using modern methods,” according to a report summarizing the results of joint geologic activities from 2009 to 2011 between the USGS, U.S. Department of Defense Task Force for Business and Stability Operations and the Ministry of Mines’ Afghanistan Geological Survey.