Posts Tagged gems

Minerals of Afghanistan

Posted by on Sunday, 20 June, 2010

As the war continues the Pentagon is now releasing information about the mineral reserves in Afghanistan. There have been rumors about these minerals for some time and now we are receiving estimates about the actual size of these deposits.

The $1 trillion estimate for the mineral deposits is now widely publicized. According to the Department of Defense, this figure does not include lithium and petroleum, and only estimates the deposits of other minerals. Lithium is important for many types of batteries, which are important for a switch away from petroleum. The urgency of the energy problem requires immediate energy storage systems for solar and wind power and lithium based batteries are one of the major methods of storing energy.

The US Geological Survey is performing studies to detect the minerals present in Afghanistan. They specifically mention the presence of precious gems such as lapis lazuli, sapphires, emeralds, and rubies. These gems are not only useful for decorative purposes, they can also concentrate light for use in lasers. The scientist Steven Peters says that the minerals are distributed through all the provinces of Afghanistan.

The United States Geological Survey even has a map of the mineral deposits in Afghanistan. They quote the source Abdullah and Chmyriov from 1977, showing that knowledge about Afghanistan’s mineral wealth has been available for quite a long time. 1977 was before I was born. There are rumors that the Soviets knew all along about Afghanistan’s mineral wealth. The major 2010 news event is that defense agencies are providing a quantitative estimate of the value of these minerals.