Prez Karzai launches sales pitch for Afghan minerals

Afghan President Hamid Karzai launched a sales pitch on Friday for his war-torn country`s rich mineral resources, calling for major aid donor Japan to invest in mines.

Tokyo: Afghan President Hamid Karzai
launched a sales pitch on Friday for his war-torn country`s rich
mineral resources, calling for major aid donor Japan to invest
in mines.

Karzai also said he was planning to meet with
representatives of Japan`s major trading house Mitsubishi Corp
later in the day to discuss possible future exploitation of
the deposits.
Afghanistan`s mining minister said Thursday that mineral
deposits in his country could be worth up to three trillion
dollars, tripling a US estimate which emerged earlier this
week.

The results of the US geological survey said Afghanistan
had huge reserves of lithium, iron, copper, gold, mercury,
cobalt and other minerals potentially worth nearly one
trillion dollars.

"So the prospects of Afghanistan is massively great and
good," Karzai said.

"Whereas Saudi Arabia is the oil capital of the world,
Afghanistan will be the lithium capital of the world.
"And Japan is welcome to participate in the lithium
exploration in Afghanistan," he said of the material used in
batteries for a range of electronic devices.

"Morally, Afghanistan should give access as a priority to
those countries that have helped Afghanistan massively in the
past few years," he said on the latest day of a visit to
Afghanistan`s biggest donor after the United States.

PTI

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