Issues Magazine

Articles about Afghanistan

Mining in Afghanistan

By Jeffrey Reeves

Mining in Afghanistan is often portrayed as a panacea to the fragile state’s socio-economic problems. It is, however, far from certain whether Kabul can manage the mining sector to exploit its potential benefits.

In 2010, the United States and Afghan Geographical Survey announced the joint discovery of over US$1 trillion in mineral resources spread throughout Afghanistan. For a brief moment, international news media turned away from the daily accounts of violence in Afghanistan to consider the development. An impoverished country where military analysts and development specialists believe a lack of economic opportunity contributes to ongoing conflict was suddenly “blessed” with untold riches. What were the larger implications?