‘Afghanistan is estimated to have $3 trillion worth of mineral deposits, which through years of insecurity have remained unexploited. Gold, iron ore, copper ore, emeralds, lapis, rubies as well as natural gas are all found in the north of the country. Now with help from advisors from the US Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO), the Afghanistan Geological Survey is gaining the skills it needs to explore and exploit the country’s resources. Geologists and drillers are being trained to investigate sites to test for the presence of resources (10 March 2014)’.
As long ago as 2011, I already posted an entry on Afghanistan’s underground wealth, and last year, Al Jazeera reported that the “US estimates that Afghanistan could be sitting on deposits worth $1 trillion. That includes gold, iron ore, uranium and precious stones, including emeralds. But for now, agriculture remains Afghanistan’s biggest export earner with fruit and nuts, tobacco and wool topping the list’. The Vancouver-based journalist Kerry Hall added last year that “Afghanistan hopes to rely on its natural resources to support the national economy following the pull-out of NATO forces in 2014. Current mining revenue in the country is estimated at $146 million annually. By 2024, the finance minister estimates mining will contribute $4 billion to the government and $20 billion to the overall economy”.
 “Pleading the Afghan Case” A Pseudo-Ottoman Blog (13 August 2011) https://sitanbul.wordpress.com/2011/08/13/afghanistan-ashraf-ghani-ahmadzai-pleading-his-case-the-%e2%80%98saudi-arabia-of-lithium%e2%80%99/.
 “Afghanistan pins hopes on natural resources” Al Jazeera (01 Feb 2013). http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia/2013/02/20132115352982835.html.
 Kerry Hall, ” Afghanistan mineral deposits estimated at $1 trillion ” Mining (09 April 2013). http://www.mining.com/afghanistan-mineral-deposits-estimated-at-1-trillion-dollars-82470/.