Soviet charts lead the US to Afghan minerals re-"discovery"

I wrote a post a few days ago about the $1 trillion worth of minerals "discovered" by the US intelligence in Afghanistan. Well, my friend blbl dug some more information, and it's interesting as it's confirming my thesis that the US invaded Afghanistan knowingly looking for those minerals:
2004, American geologists, sent to Afghanistan as part of a broader reconstruction effort, stumbled across an intriguing series of old charts and data at the library of the Afghan Geological Survey in Kabul that hinted at major mineral deposits in the country. They soon learned that the data had been collected by Soviet mining experts during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, but cast aside when the Soviets withdrew in 1989.

Armed with the old Russian charts, the United States Geological Survey began a series of aerial surveys of Afghanistan’s mineral resources in 2006, using advanced gravity and magnetic measuring equipment attached to an old Navy Orion P-3 aircraft that flew over about 70 percent of the country.

The data from those flights was so promising that in 2007, the geologists returned for an even more sophisticated study, using an old British bomber equipped with instruments that offered a three-dimensional profile of mineral deposits below the earth’s surface. It was the most comprehensive geologic survey of Afghanistan ever conducted.

The handful of American geologists who pored over the new data said the results were astonishing.

But the results gathered dust for two more years, ignored by officials in both the American and Afghan governments. In 2009, a Pentagon task force that had created business development programs in Iraq was transferred to Afghanistan, and came upon the geological data. Until then, no one besides the geologists had bothered to look at the information — and no one had sought to translate the technical data to measure the potential economic value of the mineral deposits.
Although the "mineral deposits are scattered throughout the country," the critical lithium reserves seem to be in Ghazni province. The Times acknowledges that there seem to be political motives behind the timing of the revelation, writing that "American and Afghan officials agreed to discuss the mineral discoveries at a difficult moment in the war in Afghanistan." Jalil Jumriany, an adviser to the Afghan minister of mines, is quoted saying, "This will become the backbone of the Afghan economy."
Green News deftly rains on everyone's parade in this story. It notes that while Bolivia "was recently discovered to contain an estimated 50% of the world's supply of lithium," in the Andean country "it is frequently mixed in with magnesium, which is very hard and expensive to evaporate and then separate." "Cleantech analyst" Dallas Kachan of Kachan & Co. is quoted saying: "The importance of Bolivia's reserves was overestimated. It has half the world’s lithium but it doesn't make economic sense to mine it." The account also notes that the Afghan find could paradoxically be a big win for the USA's big regional rival: "The unnamed player here: China, owner of 97% of the rare earth element refining operations in the world."

1 comment:

pej said...

A few intresting links submitted by my friend Blbl - the interesting point is that they start from as early as 2001 :