Afghanistan Could be the Saudi Arabia of Lithium

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Previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world.
Most of the mineral resources have been known since the 1970’s. The issue has been mining and getting them to ports to ship out. Here is an article with a list of political reactions to the Afghanistan mineral report

The vast scale of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth was discovered by a small team of Pentagon officials and American geologists (USGS 2007 study that only recently was released).

The USGS press release (Significant Potential for Undiscovered Resources in Afghanistan) is here

Estimate of Trillion Dollars in Minerals

Iron      $421 Billion
Copper     274 billion
Nobium      81 billion
Cobalt      51 billion
Gold        25 billion
Molybdenum  24 billion
Rare Earth   7 billion 
Other       26 billion

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