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Afghan mineral wealth may be at least $3 trillion

KABUL, Afghanistan – Afghanistan is gearing up to award contracts to mine one the world's largest iron ore deposits buried in a peaceful province of the war-torn nation that has at least $3 trillion in untapped minerals, the country's top mining official said Thursday.

Geologists have known for decades about Afghanistan's vast deposits of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and other prized minerals, but a U.S. Department of Defense briefing earlier this week put a startling, nearly $1 trillion price tag on the reserves.

Afghanistan's Minister of Mines Wahidullah Shahrani called that a conservative estimate. He said he's seen geological assessments and industry reports estimating the nation's mineral wealth at $3 trillion or more.

For Afghanistan, a violent, landlocked country with virtually no exports, it is a potential windfall, although formidable obstacles remain including lack of investment, infras

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June 18, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | ,

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