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Afghanistan’s mineral wealth to be revealed jointly by AGS, USGS and TFBSO at PDAC 2011

Toronto, ON - (, March 5, 2011) - What is the value of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth, and what does its natural resources holdings

mean for that nation’s future?

After more than a year of painstaking work to map and research Afghanistan’s mineral holdings

by the Afghanistan Geological Survey, the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Defense

Department’s Task Force for Business and Stability Operations, attendees at this year’s PDAC

will have an opportunity to learn answers to those vital questions from those who have

conducted this ground-breaking research.

“The sheer volume of minerals, precious metals and Rare Earth Elements that lie beneath the

earth’s surface in Afghanistan represent a powerful economic engine that literally can result in

Afghanistan becoming economically self-sufficient,” said U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of

Defense Paul Brinkley, who heads the TFBSO. “It is impossible to overstate the tremendous

economic potential Afghanistan’s natural resources represent for her and her people.”

Scientists and researchers from the AGS, the USGS and the TFBSO will join together to review

their findings at a session entitled “Afghanistan Minerals: Land of Opportunity.” Attendees will

learn specific details on Afghanistan’s holdings in gold, copper, lithium and other elements, as

well as how state-of-the-art research techniques have built off Soviet-era mapping and mineral

sampling projects to provide the most comprehensive picture yet of Afghanistan’s mineral assets

– and their economic potential.

Highlights of the session are to include presentations by Afghanistan’s Minister of Mines,

Wahidullah Shahrani, and Brinkley.

In addition, experts such as Dr. Stephen Peters of the USGS and Dr. Floyd Sabins, of Remote

Sensing Enterprises, will be presenting detailed breakdowns of their research results and

technical explanations of how the data was collected and assembled. Their work will make clear

the significant mining and exploration opportunities for gold, copper, iron, lithium, coal and Rare

Earth Elements in Afghanistan, as well as give an in-depth look at the current methods being

used in the field.

“Afghanistan Minerals: Land of Opportunity” will conclude with an interactive panel discussion,

allowing attendees of the conference to submit questions in advance.


Over the past year, Task Force geologists, in conjunction with USGS and AGS, portioned

Afghanistan’s vast mineral wealth into 24 areas of interest based on security, scale, market value,

infrastructure needs and availability, and time to impact. These areas of interest are all potential

mining districts with one or more mineral deposits, both metallic and industrial, that could

contribute to building a broad based mining industry in Afghanistan. The recent sampling work

and remote sensing accomplished in Afghanistan has created, arguably, the most extensive

mineral dataset ever compiled for a single country. At a time when the concern over a global

resource deficit is real, Afghanistan clearly can become a major new source of minerals, precious

metals and Rare Earth Elements.

“Afghanistan Minerals: Land of Opportunity” will take place in room 104 of the Toronto Metro

Convention Centre, North Building on Sunday March 6, 2011 from 13:00 to 17:00. For more

information, a formal agenda or to submit a question to the panel please contact Katiri Willaum

of the TFBSO at

For press inquiries please contact Dick Keil via phone at (202) 251-4470 or e-mail

Official TFBSO site:

Official site of AGS and Ministry of Mines:

Official site of USGS Projects in Afghanistan:


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