USGS Open-File Report 2007-1005
Wise decision-making and management of natural resources depend upon credible and reliable scientific information about the occurrence, distribution, quantity and quality of a country's resource base. Economic development decisions by governments require such information to be part of a Mineral Resource Assessment. Such Mineral Assessments are also useful to private citizens and international investors, consultants, and companies prior to entry and investment in a country. Assessments can also be used to help evaluate the economic risks and impact on the natural environment associated with development of resources.
In February 2002, at the request of the Department of State and the then U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan (Robert P. Finn), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) prepared a detailed proposal addressing natural resources issues critical to the reconstruction of Afghanistan. The proposal was refined and updated in December 2003 and was presented as a 5-year work plan to USAID-Kabul in February 2004. USAID-Kabul currently funds this plan and this report presents a part of the preliminary results obligated for fiscal year 2006. A final Preliminary Assessment of the Non Fuel Mineral Resource of Afghanistan will be completed and delivered at the end of fiscal year 2007.
Afghanistan has abundant metallic and non-metallic resources, but the potential resources have never been systematically assessed using modern methods. Much of the existing mineral information for Afghanistan was gathered during the 1950s and continued in the late 1980s until the departure of the geologic advisors from the Soviet Union. During this period, there were many mineral-related activities centered on systematic geologic mapping of the country, collection of geochemical and rock samples, implementation of airborne geophysical surveys, and exploration focused on the discovery of large mineral deposits. Many reports, maps, charts, and tables were produced at that time. Some of this information remains in the libraries of the Afghanistan Ministry of Mines and Industry (MMI) and the Afghanistan Geological Survey (AGS), but much of these data and materials were shipped to the Soviet Union, Eastern European countries, or elsewhere. These materials have been acquired within Afghanistan and outside the country and compiled to form the foundation for this Preliminary Assessment of Non Fuel Mineral Resources.
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