This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 4/17/2016
The mining industry offers considerable growth potential for U.S. investment and export.  Afghanistan has a large quantity of known mineral resources as well as vast areas where the potential is unknown.  Early exploration work indicates that Afghanistan possesses substantial mineral wealth ($1 – 3 trillion based on exploration of 10 percent of the country), but much work remains to be done to determine the economic feasibility of extraction.  There is no doubt that the sector will play a leading role in the economy in years to come, as the government proceeds with ambitious plans to develop and market tenders.  More information on Afghanistan’s natural resources can be found herehttp://afghanistan.cr.usgs.gov/.
 
Afghanistan’s mineral resources include copper, iron, coal, uranium, chromite, zinc, lithium, rare earth minerals (REMs), gold, lead, silver, and marble.  The country’s known precious and semi-precious minerals include lapis lazuli, emerald, ruby, tourmaline, sapphire, quartz, alabaster, amethyst, and beryl.  While some of these materials are used in the handicrafts market, few of the reserves are being commercially exploited and there is room for expansion of this industry.  A reconstruction boom is generating significant local demand for mineral-based construction materials, including marble, paving stones, cement and concrete blocks, bricks, gravel, wood, steel, sand, glass and tile.  High transportation costs provide an advantage to locally produced products.  Domestic energy needs remain unmet, despite coal deposits and natural gas.  Afghanistan has a few producing oil and natural gas fields, but there is potential for much more as studies show significant geological potential in these producing areas.
 
The mining sector has medium to long term potential. Privatization of Afghanistan’s State-Owned Enterprises (SOE), which controls some of the country’s mining resources, such as coal, is not complete.  The Government of Afghanistan is making progress improving capacity to effectively regulate its mineral and hydrocarbon resources sectors.  Afghanistan is an Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) candidate country and an EITI Secretariat has been established in the Ministry of Finance to oversee the EITI compliance process.
 
The market for U.S. technology, equipment, and expertise in this sector will be substantial.

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Afghanistan Energy Metals Trade Development and Promotion