US Discovers $1 Trillion In Untapped Mineral Deposits In Afghanistan

The country has long been known to harbour huge deposits of copper and iron, but the scale of resources is now believed to be far larger than previously thought.Huge seams of cobalt, gold and iron could turn Afghanistan into a world centre for mining, US officials hope. Afghan officials believe the mining sector will eventually become the backbone of the now tiny Afghan economy and provide hundreds of thousands of jobs.The economy is currently dominated by aid money and drug smuggling, raising fears the coalition's investments in building the Afghan army and state are ultimately unsustainable.A thriving mining economy offers the chance of much-needed funding to the Afghan state, but would also need years to build up the infrastructure needed."There is stunning potential here," Gen David Petraeus, commander of the United States Central Command, told the New York Times. "There are a lot of ifs, of course, but I think potentially it is hugely significant."