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KABUL, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Afghanistan's mineral deposits may worth 3 trillions U.S. dollars and the government would utilize it for building economy and development, Afghan Minister for Mines Waheedullah Shahrani said on Thursday.
"The minerals and untapped treasures in the country may value 3 trillions U.S. dollars," Shahrani told a news conference here.
Two more United States service members have died in southern Afghanistan, where militants have stepped up their attacks in response to greater security by NATO and Afghan forces in Taliban strongholds. NATO said Friday that the two died in an insurgent attack but did not provide details. The deaths brought to 33 the number of United States troops killed so far this month in Afghanistan.
In an interview with Politico, a retired senior U.S. official notes that anyone with a memory span longer than a goldfish will realise the supposedly “new discovery” is anything but that:
“When I was living in Kabul in the early 1970’s the [U.S. government], the Russians, the World Bank, the UN and others were all highly focused on the wide range of Afghan mineral deposits. Cheap ways of moving the ore to ocean ports has always been the limiting factor,” the official said.
Furthermore, in the mid 1980s, the chief engineer of the Afghan Geological Survey Department published a report pointing to vast reserves of mineral riches. The Afghan government was readying to work with the Soviets on extraction, before Russia pulled out of the country altogether as it’s empire began to crumble in 1989.