Fluoride Action Network

U.S. Identifies Vast Mineral Riches in Afghanistan

Source: New York Times | June 13th, 2010 | By James Risen
Location: Afghanistan
Industry type: Mining Industry

According to a New York Times report,

“The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials…

The vast scale of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth was discovered by a small team of Pentagon officials and American geologists. The Afghan government and President Hamid Karzai were recently briefed, American officials said….

The following is from the NY Times report – note fluorite is misspelled.

From a U.S. Geological Survey
Chapter 18A.    Summary of the Bakhud Fluorite Area of Interest

This chapter summarizes and interprets the results from the study of the Bakhud fluorite area of interest (AOI) and its subareas from joint geologic and compilation activities conducted from 2009 to 2011 by the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Department of Defense Task Force for Business and Stability Operations, and the Afghanistan Geological Survey. Accompanying complementary chapters 18B and 18C address hyperspectral data and geohydrologic assessments respectively of the Bakhud fluorite AOI. Additionally, supporting data and other information for this chapter are available from the Ministry of Mines in Kabul.

The Bakhud fluorite AOI is located in south-central Afghanistan on the southeastern margin of the Helmand block where it is intersected by the southwest-to-northeast trending Tirin-Arghandab interfluve. Due to its location on the margin of an accretionary zone, the Bakhud fluorite AOI consists of diverse terranes and of highly imbricated rocks of mixed ages. A variety of mineral occurrences are identified in the AOI, which include chalcopyrite, barite, galena, sphalerite, tennantite, and fluorite. The fluorite deposits generally occur near continental rifts and fracture zones within major faults systems that facilitated circulation of mineralized fluids. Accordingly, the setting of the AOI is especially favorable for the deposition of fluorite, which is considered to be the most economically promising commodity in the AOI. The fluorite deposit models that are the most relevant to the Bakhud fluorite AOI are fluorite vein deposits and stratabound fluorite systems. In addition, several hybrid models or occurrence types may apply to the fluorite deposits in the region, making quantitative assessment of the fluorite deposits incomplete. Because of these complications, this assessment deals only with the main cluster of fluorite occurrences in Uruzgan and Kandahar Provinces…

The U.S. Geological Survey has several reports on fluorite and the minerals of Afghanistan –  go to http://search.usgs.gov/