(17 Jun 2010) SHOTLIST
17 June 2010
1. Wide of news conference by Ministry of Mines
2. Reporter asking question
3. SOUNDBITE (Dari) Wahidullah Shahrani, Afghanistan's Minister of Mines:
"Our preliminary information, which still needs to be investigated, is that the total value of Afghan mines and minerals is 3 trillion US dollars."
4. Various of minerals and precious stones on display at Ministry of Mines
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Craig Andrews, Lead Mining Specialist, World Bank
"The mines have a very large multiplier effect, and it ripples through the economy. It's not just the area adjacent to the mine; you may have a supplier in Kabul which is supplying the mine, or the person that is selling hardware in the town may have to get his supplies from Kabul, so there is very definitely a multiplier effect here."
16 June 2010
6. Mid of merchants looking at precious stones at gem shop
7. Close up of raw emeralds
8. Close up of other gems in rough state
9. Shop keeper at counter
10. Mid of gems on counter
11. Close up of emeralds
12. SOUNDBITE (Dari) Haji Mohammad Gul Rashid, Director of Afghan Emeralds Department:
"This is really the best news that we Afghan people have heard from the media. And I actually believe the value is more than what has been reported in the media so far."
13. Various exteriors of Gem Stones Centre in Kabul
An Afghan mining official said on Thursday that the untapped minerals in the war-torn country are worth at least 3 (t) trillion US dollars, which is triple a US estimate.
Minister of Mines Wahidullah Shahrani said on Thursday he was going to Britain next week to discuss how to attract foreign investors to mine one of the world's largest iron ore deposits in Bamiyan province.
The relatively safe area is in the heart of the war-torn nation.
Geologists have known for decades that Afghanistan has vast mineral wealth, but a US Department of Defence briefing earlier put a startling price tag on the country's reserves of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and other prized minerals - saying it could be worth 1 (t) trillion US dollars.
Shahrani says that's conservative.
The ministry has been working with international partners to assess Afghanistan's mineral reserves and improve the expertise of Afghan geologists.
Craig Andrews, lead mining specialist at the World Bank, said that extraction of minerals from the untapped mines would eventually lead to a ripple effect in the economy - creating many new jobs for Afghans.
Afghans have also welcomed the news, and gem stone merchants are optimistic that it would eventually increase business opportunities.
Most of the data on Afghanistan's mineral resources was produced between the early 1950s and 1985, and includes some collected by the Soviet Union during its war in Afghanistan.
Much was hidden and protected by Afghan scientists during the following two decades of conflict, but after 2001, the data was returned to the Afghan government.
But many of the sites listed on a map as potential metal or mineral sites are also known for Taliban activity.
Without increased security and massive investment to mine and transport the minerals, it could take years for Afghanistan to bank the rewards.
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