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Why Lithium Can't Save Afghanistan
Discovery ^ | Jun 15, 2010 | Michael Reilly

Posted on 06/21/2010 10:57:00 AM PDT by epithermal

Following the news Monday that geologists have found a mother lode of minerals in Afghanistan -- reports argued deposits of iron, copper, gold and other goodies could collectively be worth close to $1 trillion -- it's worth asking a few extra questions.

In particular, there's been an unusually strong focus on the lithium portion of the find. A key ingredient in high-tech batteries for laptops, smart phones, electric cars and the like, its been heralded as the future cornerstone of the world's energy infrastructure.

But is lithium really going to save Afghanistan, as many media outlets seem to think? Nope, not even close.

In the words of Brian Jaskula, a lithium commodity expert with the United States Geological Survey, "We'll be extracting lithium from the ocean before we'll be extracting it from Afghanistan."

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; lithium; minerals
"To recap, we have one Department of Defense official waving his arms and saying "the surveys are highly positive! Yay lithium!" and one scientist saying, "hold on there, hoss -- we have no idea how much lithium there is out there.""
1 posted on 06/21/2010 10:57:02 AM PDT by epithermal
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To: epithermal

2 posted on 06/21/2010 11:00:09 AM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: epithermal

The only reason Obama is keeping troops in Afghanistan is to exploit their natural resources!

(just using the liberal arguments against Bush)

3 posted on 06/21/2010 11:07:38 AM PDT by Erik Latranyi (Too many conservatives urge retreat when the war of politics doesn't go their way.)
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To: Erik Latranyi

(joining in)

I know, they just want to strip mine the pristine and rugged mountains, leaving a chemical sludge in their wake.

4 posted on 06/21/2010 11:09:11 AM PDT by Persevero (Replace Howard Dean with Alvin Greene! And name Alvin Man of the Year!)
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To: epithermal
I call B.S. on this.

There's no a priori reason to believe that it won't be economic, to extract lithium from the seas, and from Afghanistan.

It seems like just yesterday that the "usual suspects" were crying "peak lithium". There were FReerepublic threads on the topic:

My conclusion: if free markets are allowed to operate, there will be no "peak lithium"; and lithium will be extracted from both the land and sea.
5 posted on 06/21/2010 11:11:06 AM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: epithermal

The lithium deposits would have to be pretty rich to warrant risking your life to get it. Unless you’re ready to pay off the insurgents, you’ll be a target seven days a week.

Until the security situation turns around, a lot of the potential wealth in Afghanistan will have to remain potential.

Poverty doesn’t cause violence. Violence guarantees poverty.

6 posted on 06/21/2010 11:28:57 AM PDT by marron
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To: epithermal

Because the mental illnesses of the average jihadi must be treated with lead, not lithium.

7 posted on 06/21/2010 11:31:09 AM PDT by Little Ray (The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!)
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I agree it is too soon to say about any of this because markets will decide. I know from some dated research I did last year that lithium is expensive to produce from sea water, but there was some new research being done on it. You may be interested to read material here on lithium: The Trouble with Lithium
8 posted on 06/21/2010 11:41:41 AM PDT by epithermal
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To: marron

I think, that after hearing this, the Chinese might very well end up joining in the fight and then colonizing the country.

Naturally, they will not be PC about their methods of dealing with the terrorist scum.

9 posted on 06/21/2010 11:42:01 AM PDT by Niuhuru (The Internet is the digital AIDS; adapting and successfully destroying the MSM host.)
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To: epithermal
Aerogeophysical Survey Provides Promising Prospects of Economic Development in Afghanistan
10 posted on 06/21/2010 11:48:47 AM PDT by epithermal
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To: epithermal

Having these resources doesn’t mean it is economically feasible to develop them. Afghanistan doesn’t have much of an infrastructure and without good road or rail transportation, the water and electric power to refine the materials and a means to get the finished products to market those mineral resources might as well be on the moon.

11 posted on 06/21/2010 12:01:42 PM PDT by The Great RJ (The Bill of Rights: Another bill members of Congress haven't read.)
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To: epithermal; The Great RJ; doug from upland; usmcobra; Cindy; G8 Diplomat; AdmSmith; Dog; ...
It's time to call BS on this whole story. We are all being hustled. The deposits in the Tethyan uplift of Afghanistan and Pakistan have been well known for 40 years:

The deposits in the Chagai belt are currently being exploratory mined at Reko Diq in Pakistan right now.

Why isn't Reko Diq getting any press, it has at least 3 times the potential wealth of anything found in Afghanistan?

Because we are trying to convince Britain and Japan and China and India to make massive investments in Afghanistans infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, hydoelectric, railroad, etc.

These countries and America are being offered Afghan mineral wealth as collateral for their long-term investments.

Lithium, gold, silver are all byproducts of the base mining of copper and iron ore. the copper and gold ore cannot be transported and processed without the railroads and electricity.

Japan is particularly hungry for copper and iron ore and is the main driver for development. We also see Afghan mining as a way to pay us for the massive treasure and blood we are expending there.

The media are being led by the nose by our State Department and are serving this hustle up to us as the saving grace for being in Afghanistan.

12 posted on 06/21/2010 1:19:00 PM PDT by gandalftb (OK State: Go Cowboys)
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To: gandalftb
I think Japan ought to have iron Ore and Copper....and they are a more reliable ally than the Euros....

They and Korea could help us with some investment and troops....

13 posted on 06/21/2010 1:57:28 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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To: Little Ray; SandRat; Marine_Uncle; NormsRevenge; SierraWasp; BOBTHENAILER; Fred Nerks; ...
Because the mental illnesses of the average jihadi must be treated with lead, not lithium.

Oh that says it so nicely!

14 posted on 06/21/2010 2:00:56 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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To: gandalftb
The Chinese are already profiting from our war dead: China's thirst for copper could hold key to Afghanistan's future
15 posted on 06/21/2010 2:03:12 PM PDT by epithermal
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To: epithermal; doug from upland; usmcobra; Cindy; G8 Diplomat; AdmSmith; Dog; nuconvert; ...
"When we have a little security here, this will be a paradise to come and mine," he said. "We are near the markets. Those markets are China and India. The transportation is not difficult. The difficulty is that everyone says, 'We must have security and then we will invest.'"

Thanks for the link, sure puts the cards on the table. Their ore, our blood, where's the Chinese Army at? Let them pacify the area.

The new Tajik railroad to Mazar-i-Sharif and the new power lines to Kabul that India built and owns......we provided all the security, their profits, our blood.

16 posted on 06/21/2010 4:16:25 PM PDT by gandalftb (OK State: Go Cowboys)
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To: gandalftb

Revealed: Indian troops in Afghanistan

Jonathan Foreman

January 06, 2008

The newspapers here in Delhi reported yesterday that two Indian soldiers were killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan in the South-Western province of Nimroz. It’s a particularly interesting fact because the presence of Indian troops in Afghanistan has gone unreported in the West (perhaps some of the journalists in Kabul need to get out of town more) and is little talked about here.

In fact there are at least 1,000 Indian paramilitary soldiers of the ‘Indo-Tibetan Border Police’ and the ‘Border Roads Organization’ — an adjunct to the Indian military similar to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — operating in Afghanistan.

These forces are not part of NATO/ISAF and have little or no contact with NATO or U.S. commands. Their official mission is the protection of Indian construction teams and businesses, India being one of the larger aid donors and investors in Afghanistan, up there with Iran. Two Indian contractors have been abducted and beheaded by militants in the last two years.

The road on which the suicide bomber struck runs between Zaranj (capital of Nimruz) and Delaram. It is being rebuilt as a joint Indian-Iranian project in a province where ISAF has not established a Provincial Reconstruction Team.

Moreover, as Pakistani officials like to point out when confronted with evidence of the ISI’s support of the Taliban, India also maintains four large consulates in Afghanistan largely staffed by intelligence agents and paramilitary soldiers.

Pakistan to US: Limit Indian troops in Afghanistan

June 11, 2006

NEW DELHI: Speculation that India might be asked to dispatch troops to Afghanistan to buttress the ISAF presence there has apparently rung alarm bells in the Pakistani establishment.

According to sources, Pakistan has asked the US to ensure that Indian security presence in Afghanistan remains restrained. This came after US president George Bush publicly asked India to increase its presence in Afghanistan when he visited the region in March.

India, though committed to its presence in the Afghan reconstruction drive, will stay out of the security game, except to provide greater protection to its own people. Indian officials say that stepping into the Afghan security situation now would make Indians sitting ducks for Pakistan-trained and sponsored new-Taliban, currently enjoying a resurgence in the southern and eastern parts of the country.

In fact, Indian security officials say that if the US had taken up the Indian offer to send troops to Afghanistan, in the past five years India, given its experience, would have created a vastly better-trained Afghan security force than exists at present.

The US has scaled down its original aim of training 70,000 Afghan armymen to 50,000. But now, the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan would prevent the Indian government from putting its men in the firing line of better-trained Taliban fighters, most of whom get their training in Pakistan.

After the grisly killing of Indian engineer Suryanarayana in Kandahar, Indian security agencies have intercepted a lot of terrorist chatter against Indian interests in Afghanistan.

In fact, at a recent discussion in London, senior Pakistani diplomat, Zamir Akram reportedly said ISI operatives would be “licking their chops at the possibility of provoking their Afghan friends to take on the Indians.”According to sources present at the event, Akram also made it clear that the Pakistan government would turn a deliberate Nelson’s eye to such instigation.

As violence in Afghanistan increases this week, with even the intelligence chief of the Afghan government targeted in a bomb attack on Friday, Indian security agencies have stepped up their intelligence in areas in Afghanistan where Indians are engaged in infrastructure development or humanitarian work.

17 posted on 06/21/2010 4:29:21 PM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: gandalftb

Thread bump.

18 posted on 06/21/2010 9:24:42 PM PDT by Cindy
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To: gandalftb

McChrystal’s resigned — the US has little support from most of the other nations in NATO. I think you’re spot on here — the possibility of mineral riches to entice Europe back into the thick.

19 posted on 06/22/2010 5:06:26 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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