July 2008 – Map
of industrial minerals of Kabul
June 2008 – Industrial
Minerals of Afghanistan (published in Industrial Minerals)
|Sultan Hamidy & Sons
glassworks factory, Kabul.
Afghanistan is well endowed with a wide range of industrial
and construction materials. Along with metallic and
energy minerals, this sector of the Afghan economy
is largely undeveloped and has enormous potential.
Although most industrial minerals generally command
lower unit prices than metallic ores, they are vital
in underpinning the manufacturing and construction
sectors of the world economy and are generally less
prone to price fluctuation. Many are traded internationally.
The geographical location of Afghanistan is well suited
for exporting these minerals to rapidly growing markets
in China, the Indian sub-continent and the Persian
The complex geology of Afghanistan gives rise to a
wide range of geological environments which, in turn,
host a diverse group of industrial mineral deposits.
The following highlights a small group of relatively
high-value industrial minerals which occur in significant
quantities in Afghanistan and have considerable export
Fluorspar is used in the manufacture of hydrofluoric
acid, which in turn is used to manufacture a wide range
of fluorocarbon chemicals used in products such as
plastics and air conditioning units. An estimated 8.8
million tonnes of fluorspar (46.7% CaF2)
occurs in a carbonate-hosted hydrothermal deposit at
Bakhud in Oruzghan Province, central Afghanistan.
The principal use of barytes is in the manufacture
of oil well drilling fluid where it acts as a weighting
agent. It is also used as a source of barium in chemicals
and ceramics. A volcanic-hosted hydrothermal deposit
of barytes occurs at Sangilyan in Herat Province in
western Afghanistan. This deposit has been worked previously
on a small scale and contains some 1.5 million tonnes
(80-98% BaSO4). This deposit is well positioned
to supply proposed hydrocarbon developments in Afghanistan
and elsewhere in central Asia.
| Marble cutting and
at Khalid Omaid Marble, Jalalabad Road, Kabul.
Afghanistan has considerable potential as a source of
high quality dimension stone, particularly marble. A
range of polished products are manufactured in Kabul
from green, white and black varieties of marble quarried
in Wardak, Kabul and Nangahar province. There are major
potential markets for these products in the Persian Gulf.
Other Afghan industrial minerals with export potential
include talc from Ghunday in Nangarhar province, which
is currently being worked on a small scale. Deposits
of talc can also be found at Achin in Nangarhar province,
as can magnesite.
here to download a brochure on the marble resources
A deposit near Kunduz in Kunduz province is also of
working, Gerd Kol.
kiln at Barchi.
and gravel working, Paghman.
rock aggregate and sand
for sale, Kabul.
and gravel crushing and
screening plant, Paghman.
Post-conflict reconstruction and development in Afghanistan
has led to very strong indigenous demand for construction
minerals such as aggregates (river sand and gravel and
crushed hard rock), bricks (fired clay and concrete blocks)
and cement. Most of the demand for bulk minerals is met
from local sources, although there is a clear need to
improve the quality and consistency of these vital raw
.... industrial minerals
are vital in underpinning the manufacturing and construction
sectors of the world economy ...