The international mining community has long known about the country's vast mineral resources. But most mining companies remain wary of starting big, long-term projects there. Among the problems: No peace, no stability and a fondness for bribery.
Newly located deposits in Afghanistan could be a source of wealth for an impoverished nation crippled by decades of war. But getting those minerals out of the ground will require years of development and billions of dollars in investment.
As the conflict in Afghanistan drags on, the U.S. has announced that the troubled Asian nation is sitting on upwards of $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits. However, the resources are likely to end up getting mined not by American but by Russian and Chinese firms.
The New York Times reports that "The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself."