The Taliban are sitting on $1T worth of minerals the world desperately needs

Copper ore is seen at Aynak, Logar Province, Afghanistan. The copper deposits are so rich that the bones of animals recovered by archaeologists on the site are green from metal leaching into them. A giant copper mine that the Afghan government has made the centerpiece of its plans for building an economy nearly from scratch is now at least five years behind schedule and the state-owned Chinese company that won the bidding has missed key deadlines in its still-secret contract with the Afghan government and is trying to renegotiate the deal, according to several officials and observers inside and outside of the mining ministry. (Matthew C. Rains/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

CNN: The swift fall of Afghanistan to Taliban fighters two decades after the United States invaded the country has triggered a political and humanitarian crisis. It’s also causing security experts to wonder: What’s going to happen to the country’s vast untapped mineral wealth?

“But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many.” Daniel 11:44

Afghanistan is one of the poorest nations in the world. But in 2010, US military officials and geologists revealed that the country, which lies at the crossroads of Central and South Asia, was sitting on mineral deposits worth nearly $1 trillion that could dramatically transform its economic prospects.

Supplies of minerals such as iron, copper and gold are scattered across provinces. There are also rare earth minerals and, perhaps most importantly, what could be one of the world’s biggest deposits of lithium — an essential but scarce component in rechargeable batteries and other technologies vital to tackling the climate crisis.

“Afghanistan is certainly one of the regions richest in traditional precious metals, but also the metals [needed] for the emerging economy of the 21st century,” said Rod Schoonover, a scientist and security expert who founded the Ecological Futures Group. Read More