The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Afghanistan; home to abundant deposits of minerals and precious stones

Afghanistan has vast mineral wealth and natural resources; therefore, it is considered as one of the richest countries in the world in terms of offering untapped investment potential in its one of a kind natural resource known for quality, abundance and purity. Of course, these resources and minerals are different in terms of quality, which plays an important role in development of the country’s economy. Afghanistan has hundreds of identified mineral deposits related to oil, gas, coal, lithium, gold, iron and copper and others, and the Aynak copper mine has a high reputation in the world. Most countries of the world and region have shown interest in investment in Afghanistan, where they can extract the country’s minerals. From 2004 to 2011, the U.S. Geological Survey conducted aerial survey and better identified mineral sites, richness and abundance. Following revelations about the full data, it has now appeared that Afghanistan’s mineral resources could be worth as much as $1 trillion. The important mines of the country that have been discovered and their value is equal to the mines of the world can include: gold, silver, plutonium, and in addition, a large amount of uranium, zinc, tantalum, bauxite, natural gas, salt, iron ore, copper, chrome, fluorine, barite, sulfur, coal… and other mines. A number of these mines are introduced as below: Gold: It has been mined by goldsmiths since ancient times. Gold extraction by gold panning with cowhide in Badakhshan, Takhar and Ghazni existed centuries ago. Sand gold that exists in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and the provinces of Takhar and Badakhshan in Afghanistan, all originated from the large gold mines of Badakhshan. The gold particles of these mines have been transferred to Amu by the Kokcha river over millions of years, and the Amu River has transported them to different directions. The main gold mines in the country are in Ragh district of Badakhshan, Takhar, Zarkashan of Ghazni, Zabul, Kandahar and Herat. Silver: The most important mines of Afghanistan’s silver (white gold) have been identified in the heights of Badakhshan, Panjshir, in Sim Kooh, Herat, Kandahar Khakriz, Ghorband and Sifah in central of Afghanistan, in the veins of Bibi Gohar lead mine (Kandahar) and some in Aynak copper mine. The Iron mines: The total reserves of Afghanistan’s iron mines are estimated to be more than one billion tons. Afghanistan’s iron mines generally have a high standard, i.e. 47- 62%, which is considered among low-consumption mines with high quality and rare. Iron mines in Afghanistan are very important in Badakhshan, Panjshir, Ghorband, Bamyan, Hajikag, Behsud, Lal wa Sarjangal, Yakavalang, and Ghor, and in Kandahar, Maimana, Herat, Uruzgan, Paktia. 100 km north of Kandahar, there is a big iron mine with a capacity of 3 million tons. Also, the iron mine is located 9 km from the city of Jabal al-Saraj. The largest iron mines in Central Asia, Hajigak iron mine is located in Bamyan province, 130 km northwest of Kabul. A few kilometers from this mine there is a huge deposit of lime (for smelting iron). After Hajigak, the second iron mine in Afghanistan is Sahe Darya Iron Mines, parallel to Hajigak. Ahangaran Bamyan mine has up to 65% iron. The third iron mine in Afghanistan that competes with Shadow of the Sea is Dahane Darghushtak mine, which has 47% iron. The fourth largest iron ore mine in Afghanistan is Lal wa Sarjangal, which is next to Hajigak. Lithium mines: Lithium mines: Lithium is one of the rare elements. Which exists in large quantities in Afghanistan, which is 850 to 900 km long (from Helmand to Nangarhar, Laghman to Uruzgan and Ashkashim) with a width of 150 to 200 km. Dozens of mineral accumulations of this metal have been formed in the scope of this area. Such as Jamnak mine, Dromgol, Pasgoshte and other mines located in Nuristan province, where the lithium oxide reserves in these mines are from five hundred to one million tons. Dromgol and Jamanek mines (Nuristan province) which have reserves of more than four million tons of “lithium oxide”, which is very important. Although Canada is the only pegmatite country and has a large amount of lithium oxide, while Afghanistan has more reserves of these metals than Canada Beryllium reserves are also significantly expanded in Afghan pegmatite’s. Previous stones: In Afghanistan, precious stones are called Crimean stones, precious stones or precious minerals. The extraction of these stones has been carried out by the locals since several thousand years ago. The prominent minerals are usually highly crystallized in the eastern and northeastern parts of Afghanistan. These minerals are abundant in the provinces of Panjshir, Badakhshan, Nuristan and parts of the central Hindu Kush. Afghanistan’s valuable sedimentary minerals and stones include fluorite, kunzite, sapphire, red ruby and sapphire, Lal Badakhshan garnet, emerald, aquamarine, emerald, biroch, and corundum. Semiprecious minerals and stones include lapis lazuli, topaz, tourmaline and quartz. The four important mines of this country, namely Panjshir, Yaqut Jagdalak, Lal Badakhshan and Nooristan mines, were sold to the Indian market and the Pakistani market in the past years in a non-technical way. Which has been prevented with the establishment of the Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan. Marbles: One of the semiprecious stones used in decoration and repairs is marble. Currently, about 35 types of marble with 45 different colors can be obtained in the mines of the country, such as; Khogyani white marble, Chesht Herat white marble, Karimi Samangan marble, Kabul black marble, Wardak steel marble, Shirchai Salang marble, Tarekhel green marble and Kariz Mir, and Kandahar red marble are among the best types of marble that have sex, it is grainy and after polishing, they show a special clarity and polish. Salt mines: There were 14 salt mines in Afghanistan, and now salt is extracted from 5 mines. The usable salt mines in Andkhoi are 3 mines in different areas of the Taluqan city of Takhar province, Namaksar Herat, Ghor, Ghazni, Paktia, Parwan. Until 2002, Afghanistan’s salt production was 13,000 tons per year. With the establishment of factories in 2003, it reached 21 thousand tons. After 2004, salt consumption gradually increased, in 2009 production reached 180,000 tons and in 2013, it reached 190,000 tons. In total, Afghanistan needs 250,000 tons of salt per year. Because Afghanistan’s factories produce salt at a high price of 4,000 Afghani, 70% of Afghanistan’s salt is imported from Iran and Pakistan at a price of 2,200 Afghani per ton. The average consumption of salt in Afghanistan is 2-4 grams per person. The purest salt in Afghanistan is obtained from Taqchekhane mines in Takhar province, which contain iodine. Until now, 33 factories, factories and mills in 14 provinces produce salt, of which 25 factories produce iodized salt, and the rest produce normal salt. Mines that can be economically mined at the moment are the mines of Takhar Province, which produce 75,000 tons of salt annually. Apart from these mines, there are countless mines in our dear country of Afghanistan, the use of natural resources and the extraction of mines have made the country self-sufficient and have a good contribution to the remarkable growth of the country’s economy. Afghanistan’s mines are a good source of monetary income for the country. Mustafa Hashemi

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.