This will be the first in a series highlighting areas rich in resources and danger.
Lately there has been a lot in the news about the recently re-discovered mineral wealth in Afghanistan. A lot of the coverage has looked at the potential de-stabilizing/stabilizing effects that so much natural wealth could bring. But while the focus has been on the money that they are potentially worth, what about the minerals themselves? Why do they matter to us? And can we get them elsewhere? A New York Times article, one of the first to break the story, mentioned five minerals that were dominant in the deposits worth an estimated $1 trillion dollars. Those minerals were Copper, Iron, Gold, Cobalt and Lithium. The reason for the high concentration of valuable minerals in the area is the land itself. The ridiculously high mountains of Afghanistan were formed by tectonic activity, with the most recent formation due to the continued pressing of the Indian subcontinent against the Eurasian plate. This area of high pressure is ideal for forming rich deposits of minerals.