Monday, August 23, 2021

What the US secretly drools over in Afghanistan & what Chunky Corpulent Chubby C11bye Fei-Lo dreams about having in Kedah

Taliban inherits untapped US$1 trillion trove of minerals

Resources include bauxite, copper, iron ore, lithium and rare earths

Endless wars and poor infrastructure have prevented the country from getting its hands on the metals that could brighten its economic fortunes. – Pixabay pic, August 22, 2021

PARIS – The Taliban now holds the keys to an untouched trillion-dollar trove of minerals including some that could power the world’s transition to renewable energies, but Afghanistan has long struggled to tap its vast deposits.

The Taliban is already in a financial bind since it returned to power 20 years after its ouster, as major aid donors halted their support for Afghanistan.

Endless wars and poor infrastructure have prevented the country from getting its hands on the metals that could brighten its economic fortunes.

The resources include bauxite, copper, iron ore, lithium and rare earths, according to a January report by the US Geological Survey (USGS).

Copper, which is needed to make power cables, became a hot commodity this year as prices soared to more than US$10,000 (RM42,300) per tonne.

Lithium is a crucial element to make electric car batteries, solar panels and wind farms.

World demand for lithium is expected to grow by over 40 times by 2040, according to the International Energy Agency.

And, Afghanistan “sits on a huge reserve of lithium that has not been tapped to this day”, said Guillaume Pitron, author of the book The Rare Metals War.

Afghanistan is also home to rare earths that are used in the clean energy sector: neodymium, praseodymium and dysprosium.

The country’s untapped mineral riches have been estimated at US$1 trillion by the USGS, though Afghan officials have put it three times as high.

Afghanistan has done better digging for precious stones such as emeralds and rubies as well as semi-precious tourmaline and lapis lazuli, but the business is plagued with illegal smuggling to Pakistan.

The country also mines for talc, marble, coal and iron.

China investment

While the Taliban’s takeover may deter foreign investors, one country that appears willing to do business with them is China.

The world’s second-biggest economy has said it is ready to have “friendly and cooperative” relations with Afghanistan after the Taliban entered Kabul.

The state-owned China Metallurgical Group Corporation won rights in 2007 to lease the giant Mes Aynak copper ore deposit for 30 years and extract 11.5 million tonnes of the commodity.

The project to tap the world’s second-largest unexploited copper deposit has yet to start operations “due to safety issues”, according to Chinese state-run tabloid Global Times.

But Global Times cited a source at the group as saying that it would “consider reopening it after the situation is stabilised, and international recognition – including the Chinese government’s recognition of the Taliban regime – takes place”.

While Chinese leaders are “not enthusiastic” about the Taliban takeover, “they will not allow principle to stand in the way of pragmatism”, Ryan Hass, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Brookings Institution think tank, said in a blog.

“Beijing’s lack of development at its major investment in the Mes Aynak copper mine demonstrates its willingness to exercise patience in pursuit of return on investment,” he wrote.

French expert Pitron said: “The Chinese don’t condition their business deals on democratic principles.”

He warned there is no certainty that Afghanistan will become a mineral El Dorado.

“For that, you need a very stable political climate,” Pitron said.

It can take as long as 20 years between the discovery of a mineral deposit and the start of mining operations, he said.

“No company will want to invest if there is no stable political and legal system,” he said. – AFP, August 22, 2021


  1. So now 5000 yo Bullyland can dig up all of Afghanistan for Rare Earths and build Rare-Earth plants all over the place, pollute the countryside. Don't Care.

    Malay-sia Gomen who love Telly-Ban can shut down Lynas. Let Telly-Ban make money with 5000 yo Bullyland.

    1. Blurred mfer, rare earth ores r just the raw material.

      China holds the largest concentration of rare earth ores in the world. & the killing point is China has the only refining techniques that COULD avoid critical environmental impacts, which she learnt through yrs of trial&error in resolving the environmental degradations caused by those earlier yrs of impetuous rare earth operations.

      Having the raw materials yet w/o the ability to extract the pure metal source for industrial applications is of zilch strategic opportunity in whatsoever fields to ANY countries!

      BTW, do u know that Lynda has to send those concentrated kuantan extracted ore to China for final refining before turning them into useful metal?

      Thus, why should China establish any rare earth refineries outside China?

      Having nil strategical benefits in terms of supply & control for her benefit!

      Eat yr heart out & keep to yr know-nothing mumble jumble fart, blurred mfer.

  2. The report itself is fairly factual, but Ktemoc's claim of "What the US secretly drools over in Afghanistan" is Bullshit.

    Up to now, one country has actually moved to commercialise Afghanistan mineral resources, and that is China.

    So , who is the one drooling ?

    1. The state-owned China Metallurgical Group Corporation won rights in 2007 to lease the giant Mes Aynak copper ore deposit for 30 years and extract 11.5 million tonnes of the commodity.

      Yet the operation HASN'T started till now due to political unrest within Afghanistan!

      There r other more stable suppliers of copper.

      Yr uncle Sam's incessant craving for the rare earth minerals, which is one of the key untold reason for his military involvement in Afghanistan, has resulted equally in zilch commercial operation due to the constant unstable political environment!

      W/O a constant & controllable supply of rare earth elements, many of the high ended military gears - eg F35 & Seawolf nuclear-powered fast attack submarines - would be in very short supply soon.

      Wakakakakaka… so, who is the one drooling, AGAIN?

  3. Before mining for Rare Earth you have to pinpoint the locations first. Lots of Carigali needed. This will takes years, maybe decades.

    In the meantime someone has to feed 40 million destitute citizens because no more foreign aid. That responsibility now falls on 5000 yo Bullyland and Russia, who choose to fren fren with Taliban. They did not expect the speed at which the other western countries are cabut-ing Kabul. They did not make any preparations for evacuating their people either. They oso want to cabut, but unfortunately the Optics would not look good if Chinese and Russians rush to Kabul airport to escape, clinging on and falling off the wheels of American planes taking off....ha ha ha....

    Don't run away you did in 1989 and 1993. Stay On for 20 years, Babysit, Spoonfeed and play Belt and Road with the Taliban.

    The Taliban face bleak economic times ahead, former Afghan central banker predicts
    By Matt Egan, CNN Business
    August 20, 2021

    New York (CNN Business)
    Soaring food prices. Limited cash. And a surge of refugees. The economic future of Afghanistan under Taliban rule looks bleak, according to the country's former central banker. "Afghanistan unfortunately was already facing multiple crises," Ajmal Ahmady, who led the Afghan central bank before escaping Kabul on Sunday, told CNN, pointing to Covid, conflict and drought. Now on top of that there is going to be economic hardship," Ahmady said. "And for the people of Afghanistan, that is going to be very difficult to deal with." Ahmady predicted the Taliban will face trouble governing and making economic policy. "They haven't made clear what their policy agenda is. It's not clear who will be running the economic agenda for them," he said. "I think they're going to face a lot of challenges, which they're going to have to quickly seek to resolve." The most pressing financial problem is that the country has essentially run out of US dollars -- a disaster for a country like Afghanistan that runs a very large trade deficit.
    Afghanistan's shipments of US dollars were derailed by the violence and chaos in the days before Kabul fell to the Taliban. And now Washington has effectively frozen Afghanistan's US-held central bank assets to prevent the money from flowing to the Taliban. Moreover, the International Monetary Fund, under pressure from the United States, is halting $450 million in funds that were scheduled to arrive in Afghanistan early next week. Ahmady, a Harvard trained economist, said this situation is going to cause economic hardship for the new regime as well as for the people of Afghanistan. Specifically, he expects Afghanistan's currency to lose value (the Afghani dropped to record lows after Kabul fell), triggering inflation, including higher food prices...

    1. Wakakakakaka…

      Blurred under, cf my earlier take to yr f*cked filled content vis-a-vis rate earth mining!

      Meanwhile, if Taliban can stabilise the operational conditions, business & political-wise, then B&R initiative WOULD be the salvage that those poor Afghans r looking for!