Afghanistan finds new oil deposits

Oilfield with an estimated 1.8 billion barrels found, Afghan ministry of mines says.

    Afghanistan hopes that untapped mineral deposits will bankroll security when foreign troops pull out [AFP]

    Omar said the actual exploration of the mine would begin after three years.

    He also said an earlier plan for the tender of a 1.6bn barrel Afghan-Tajik oil block in early 2011 was still on track.

    Untapped resources

    He said that by the end of the year Afghanistan would retender a deposit of iron of 1.8bn tonnes it had scrapped earlier this year due to the global recession and changes in the world markets.

    The untapped mineral resources include iron ore, copper, lithium, oil, gas and gems, which Afghanistan hopes to develop in the near future despite rising insecurity in recent years - the bloodiest period since US-led troops ousted the
    Taliban in 2001.

    The US department of defence estimated earlier this year that Afghanistan's mineral resources could top $1 trillion, but experts say the fragile security situation could delay seeing the benefits of this wealth for years.

    Afghanistan hopes that untapped mineral deposits could help reduce the need to rely on Western cash for bankrolling its impoverished economy and for its soldiers to maintain security when foreign troops pull out of the country.

    In 2007 China's top integrated copper producer, Jiangxi Copper Co and China Metallurgical Group Corp, became the first major investor in Afghanistan.

    They are involved in the exploration of the vast multi-bilion dollar Aynak Copper Mine to the south of Kabul, the Afghan capital.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.