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Geospatial tech helps discover Afghan mineral wealth

Afghanistan: Scientists at the US Geological Survey, the Afghan Geological Survey and the Department of Defence used satellite technology to unearth areas having high mineral potential in Afghanistan that include elements such as gold, copper and iron. The latest finding will help the Afghan government in developing these resources.
“The USGS is exceptionally pleased by the contribution we have been able to make to future development of Afghanistan’s world-class mineral resources, made possible through the application of modern remote-sensing tools,” said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. “There is always increased risk for commercial ventures investing in new mining facilities in frontier areas such as Afghanistan, but by making information on the locations and estimated quantities and grades of ores publicly available, we lower that risk, spurring progress.”
In total, the USGS studied 24 formations, the most prominent being the giant copper and cobalt deposits near Kabul, the iron-rich areas in central Afghanistan, the copper and gold resources in southeastern Afghanistan, and rare-earth element deposits in Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan. Many other precious and base metal deposits as well as industrial mineral deposits also are highlighted in the newly released reports.
In addition, the USGS studies makes unprecedented use of hyperspectral analysis, which is an imaging tool often used in mineral exploration to find new deposits. With assistance from the Department of Defense and the Afghan Geological Survey, the USGS has mapped more than 96 percent of Afghanistan using hyperspectral imaging, more than any other country in the world.
Source: Irish Weather Online