KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – An Afghan mining official says the untapped minerals in the war-torn country are worth at least $3 trillion, triple a U.S. estimate.
Minister of Mines Wahidullah Shahrani said Thursday he’s going to Britian next week to discuss how to attract foreign investors to mine one of the world’s largest iron ore deposits in Bamiyan province. The relatively safe area is in the heart of the war-torn nation.
The U.S. Department of Defense earlier said Afghanistan’s reserves of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and other prized minerals could be worth $1 trillion. Shahrani says that’s conservative.
The ministry has been working with international partners to assess Afghanistan’s mineral reserves and improve the expertise of Afghan geologists.