Afghanistan - Mining
Afghanistan has valuable deposits of barite, beryl, chrome, coal, copper, iron, lapis lazuli, lead, mica, natural gas, petroleum, salt, silver, sulfur, and zinc. Reserves of high-grade iron ore, discovered years ago at the Hajigak hills in Bamyan Province, are estimated to total 2 billion tons.
On average, some 114,000 tons of coal were mined each year during 1978–84. It is estimated that the country has 73 million tons of coal reserves, most of which is located in the region between Herat and Badashkan in the northern part of the country. Production in 2000 amounted to 200,000 tons. In 2000, Afghanistan produced 13,000 tons of salt, 3,000 tons of gypsum, 5,000 tons of copper, and 120,000 tons of cement. Deposits of lapis lazuli in Badakhshan are mined in small quantities. Like other aspects of Afghanistan's economy, exploitation of natural resources has been disrupted by war. As well, the remote and rugged terrain, and an inadequate transportation network usually have made mining these resources difficult.