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Afghanistan is endowed with abundant natural resources that remain largely untapped. The country has world-class deposits of iron ore, copper, gold, rare-earth minerals, and a host of other natural resources. Similarly, the presence of petroleum resources has long been known in Afghanistan but these resources were exploited only to a limited extent.

Quick Facts


Primary Mineral

US$7 trillion

Estimated Reserves


Tax Benefits

13 Mining Companies

Active resource businesses

Bulk metals, such as iron ore, copper, aluminium, tin, lead and zinc, are located in multiple areas of the country. And, gemstones, rare-earth metals, sulfur, talc, gypsum and chromite, are predominant across Central Afghanistan, Baghlan, Kunduz, Logar, Khost, among other places. Much of the petroleum resource potential of Afghanistan and all of the crude oil and natural gas reserves are in northern Afghanistan, located in parts of two petroliferous geologic basins – the Amu Darya Basin to the west and the Afghan Tajik Basin to the east. The Government of Afghanistan sees Afghanistan’s vast mineral and hydrocarbon resources as a catalyst of long-term economic growth. Accordingly, the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) designed several consequential documents, including the Mining Sector Roadmap, a new Minerals Law, and a new Hydrocarbons Law as part of its commitments to open the mining and hydrocarbon sectors for private investment.

The international community also remains committed to Afghanistan’s development, pledging over $83 billion at ten donors’ conferences between 2003 and 2016. In October 2016, the donors at the Brussels conference pledged an additional $3.8 billion in development aid annually from 2017 to 2020. Even with this help, the Government of Afghanistan still faces a number of challenges, including low revenue collection, anaemic job creation, high levels of corruption, weak government capacity, and poor public infrastructure.

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