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Graphic shows areas of mineral deposits in Afghanistan, and estimated resource figures.


Taliban sitting on $1 trillion worth of minerals

August 25, 2021 - Afghanistan is sitting on mineral deposits estimated to be worth $1 trillion or more, including what may be the world’s largest lithium reserves – a crucial but scarce component in rechargeable batteries and other technologies vital to tackling the climate crisis.

Afghanistan is rich in resources such as copper, gold, oil, natural gas, uranium, bauxite, coal and iron ore, according to Reuters.

A 2019 report by Afghanistan’s Ministry of Mines and Petroleum found that the country is expected to hold more than 2.2 billion tonnes of iron ore – worth over $350 billion at current market prices – almost 30 million tonnes of copper and 2,700kg of gold.

The mines ministry report also says that Afghanistan holds 1.4 million tonnes of rare earth minerals, a group of 17 elements prized for their applications in consumer electronics, as well as in military equipment.

The rare earth deposits are believed to include vast reserves of lithium, needed for electric vehicle batteries and the world’s low-carbon transition, Reuters said.

PUBLISHED: 25/08/2021; STORY: Graphic News