The New York Times has reported that U.S. officials and American geologists have found an estimated $1 trillion worth of mineral deposits that have yet to be exploited in the country. The paper said a Pentagon report called Afghanistan potentially “the Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key component in batteries for cellphones, laptop computers and eventually, a plug-in fleet of electric cars.
In December, 2007, China’s state-owned China Metallurgical Group Corp. (MCC) signed a $2.9 billion agreement with the Kabul government to extract copper from the Aynak deposit, one of the world’s largest unexploited copper deposits with an estimated 240 million tons of ore. When MCC entered into negotiations with the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, it offered substantial aid for resource development as part of the package.
Of course in order to move the ore Afghanistan needs a rail system. Afghanistan ‘s mining minister appointed China Metallurgical Group Corp. to carry out technical studies for two proposed rail lines in the country from Kabul to Turkam in the east, and Kabul to Mazar-e-Sharif in the north. The rail lines are seen as essential to help Afghanistan develop a mining industry that could bring in billions of sorely needed dollars to the impoverished nation.
Naturally China really wants gas and oil and once again Afghanistan’s government signed a deal with China’s state-owned National Petroleum Corporation, allowing it to become the first foreign company to exploit the country’s oil and natural gas reserves.The ministry listed the initial value of the project with CNPC as $700 million. But the total could be ten times greater if more reserves are found and developed.
The government of Afghanistan also granted key gold and cooper licenses to a consortium backed by City of London banker Ian Hannam, former BHP Billiton CEO Chip Goodyear and Poland’s multibillionaire Jan Kulczyk. In addiation Afghan Gold and Minerals, Afghan Minerals Group, and Turkish-Afghan Mining Co. had been picked from a shortlist of 25 bidders to explore and start developing the Balkhab, Shaida and Badakhshan projects respectively. Afghan Gold and Minerals (owned by Sadat Mansoor Naderi) will have copper explorations rights over the Balkhab, northwest of the capital Kabul. Not sure who owns the Turkish-Afghan Mining Co. Also, Afghan Minerals Group was granted Thursday a license to explore the Shaida copper deposit, in the province of Herat, in western Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, Turkish-Afghan Mining obtained the license for the Badakhshan gold and copper deposit, in the Badakhshan province, in north-eastern Afghanistan.
Afghanistan’s government granted an Indian steel company the right to exploit the Hajigak iron ore deposit which is considered one of the largest iron deposits in the world at 1.8 billion tonnes. The Indian company wants to ship the ore through Pakistan to India, which might seem a bit of a problem but the amount of money to be make by trucking firm and Government fee’s means that the green light will be given.
They are a lot of other businesses (and NGO’s) looking to profit from the Afganie war as well.
WALDEEN (1913–1993) dreamed of the dance for most of her life, from early childhood to her death. The dance, like poetry, was always in her blood — the daring blood of the “Texas girl,” as she was called when she made her New York debut, who at fifteen left classical ballet in order to find her own voice, to speak freely with her body, hands and face. The blood of the young dancer who, at twenty-five, having already distinguished herself here and abroad, made Mexico City her home, inspired by the vitality of the arts in Mexico where she believed art and life were fused into one reality — and where the people loved her. She created dance for more than half a century. For more see: http://www.uhmc.sunysb.edu/surgery/waldeen.html
From the BBC: Plans to build a new road in Iceland ran into trouble recently when campaigners warned that it would disturb elves living in its path. Construction work had to be stopped while a solution was found.
From his desk at the Icelandic highways department in Reykjavik, Petur Matthiasson smiles at me warmly from behind his glasses, but firmly.
“Let’s get this straight before we start – I do not believe in elves,” he says.
I raise my eyebrows slightly and incline my head towards his computer screen which is displaying the plans for a new road in a neighboring town. There are two yellow circles marked on the plans, one that reads Elf Church and another that reads Elf Chapel. Petur sighs.
“Ok,” he acknowledges wearily. “But it’s not every day in Iceland that we divert roads for elves. It’s just in this case we were warned that elves were living in some of the rocks in the path of the road – well, we have to respect that belief.” He grins shyly and picks up his car keys.
“Come on, I’ll show you where the elves live,” he says indulgently. Read More here
Throughout the bitter days of the Warsaw Ghetto, a clandestine group of researchers compiled a vast archive detailing every aspect of life in this prison city built and then obliterated by the Nazis. Led by a historian, Emanuel Ringelblum, the group then buried the archive for future generations. Continue the story here at the BBC.
On 19 April 1943, a train carrying 1,631 Jews set off from a Nazi detention camp in Belgium for the gas chambers of Auschwitz. But resistance fighters stopped the train. One boy who jumped to freedom that night retains vivid memories, 70 years later.
In February 1943, 11-year-old Simon Gronowski was sitting down for breakfast with his mother and sister in their Brussels hiding place when two Gestapo agents burst in.
They were taken to the Nazis’ notorious headquarters on the prestigious Avenue Louise, used as a prison for Jews and torture chamber for members of the resistance. Read more here