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EARTH: Afghanistan’s Mineral Resources Laid Nare

January 5, 2012

Geologists carrying rock hammers and accompanied by Marines traverse the rugged expanse of the Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan, searching for untold mineral wealth. Although the nature of Afghanistan’s mineral deposits is not unique in the world, the country’s deposits are largely untouched. Will Afghanistan be able to utilize these minerals to rebuild the war-torn nation? Join EARTH Magazine in our January issue as we examine Afghanistan’s mineral wealth and the implications it holds for the country’s future.

Since 2007, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Geological Survey and their partners have been working to identify, confirm and describe mineral resources in two dozen areas of interest in Afghanistan. In 2011, USGS issued its most recent report estimating that Afghanistan contained “world-class resources,” including most notably gold, high grade copper and iron deposits, and rare earth element minerals. Read more about this story online now at http://www.earthmagazine.org/earth/article/5e7-7db-c-1d.

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