The image of Afghanistan as a poor under developed country may soon need a change as Pentagon geologists have placed the value of mineral deposits in the country at an estimated US$1 trillion.
Large deposits of precious minerals like iron, copper and gold are scattered in areas which are under Taleban control. This is what makes it difficult to extricate and officials in the military feel that it would take a long time for the new found mineral resources to translate into actual wealth for the nation.
View Larger Map
This news comes as a welcome shot in the arm as Afghanistan is looking to increase foreign investment and reduce the opium trade. The presence of lithium in salt lakes in Ghanzni, useful as raw material in manufacturing batteries for cell phone and laptops is a major plus.
Developing the mining industry and infrastructure in the country is what will be the challenge for the next few years. The security issues are what seem to be keeping major international companies at bay.