Assessing Afghanistan's mineral resources



Afghanistan has significant amounts of undiscovered nonfuel mineral resources, with copper and iron ore having the most potential for extraction, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assessment. The assessment, done cooperatively with the Afghanistan Geological Survey of the Afghanistan Ministry of Mines, also found indications of significant deposits of colored stones and gemstones (including emeralds, rubies, and sapphires), gold, mercury, sulfur, chromite, and other resources. “Mineral resource assessments provide government decision-makers and potential private investors with objective, unbiased information on where undiscovered mineral resources may be located, what kinds of resources are likely to occur, and how much of each mineral commodity may exist in them,” said USGS director Mark Myers. The USGS, in cooperation with the Afghan government, released an oil and gas resources assessment in May 2007. For more information, visit the Web sites: and