Public Release: 

EARTH: Afghanistan's mineral resources laid bare

American Geosciences Institute

Alexandria, VA - Geologists carrying rock hammers and accompanied by Marines traverse the rugged expanse of the Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan, searching for untold mineral wealth. Although the nature of Afghanistan's mineral deposits is not unique in the world, the country's deposits are largely untouched. Will Afghanistan be able to utilize these minerals to rebuild the war-torn nation? Join EARTH Magazine in our January issue as we examine Afghanistan's mineral wealth and the implications it holds for the country's future.

Since 2007, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Geological Survey and their partners have been working to identify, confirm and describe mineral resources in two dozen areas of interest in Afghanistan. In 2011, USGS issued its most recent report estimating that Afghanistan contained "world-class resources," including most notably gold, high grade copper and iron deposits, and rare earth element minerals. Read more about this story online now at


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The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 50 geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.

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