There is increased concern about the future availability of rare earth elements (REE) because of China's dominance as the supplier of more than 95 percent of world REE output, their decision to restrict exports of rare earth products, and the rapid increase in world-wide consumption of rare earth product. As a result, countries such as the United States, Japan, and member nations of the European Union face a future of tight supplies and high prices for rare earth products unless other sources of REE are found and developed (Long and others, 2010; U.S. Geological Survey, 2011, p. 128-129, 184-185). We report and describe a significant new deposit of light rare earth elements (LREE), estimated at 1 Mt, within the Khanneshin carbonatite complex of south Afghanistan. The potential resource is located in a remote and rugged part of the igneous complex in a region previously identified by Soviet geologists in the 1970s. This report reviews the geologic setting of LREE deposit, presents new geochemical data documenting the grade of LREE mineralization, briefly describes the mineralogy and mineralogical associations of the deposit, and presents a preliminary estimate of LREE resources based on our current understanding of the geology.
The Khanneshin carbonatite is a deeply dissected igneous complex of Quaternary age that rises approximately 700 meters (m) above the Neogene sedimentary rocks of the Registan Desert, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. The complex consists almost exclusively of carbonate-rich intrusive and extrusive igneous rocks, crudely circular in outline, with three small hypabyssal plugs of leucite phonolite and leucitite outcropping in the southeast part of the complex. The igneous complex is broadly divisible into a central intrusive vent (or massif), approximately 4 kilometers (km) in diameter, consisting of coarse-grained sövite and brecciated and agglomeratic barite-ankerite alvikite; a thin marginal zone (
The Minerals Yearbook is an annual publication that reviews the mineral and material industries of the United States and foreign countries. The Yearbook contains statistical data on materials and minerals and includes information on economic and technical trends and development. The Minerals Yearbook includes chapters on approximately 90 commodities and over 175 countries. This volume of the Minerals Yearbook provides an annual review of mineral production and trade and of mineral-related government and industry developments in more than 175 foreign countries. Each report includes sections on government policies and programs, environmental issues, trade and production data, industry structure and ownership, commodity sector developments, infrastructure, and a summary outlook.
Natural Resources in Afghanistan: Geographic and Geologic Perspectives on Centuries of Conflict details Afghanistan's physical geography — namely climate, soils, vegetation, water, hazards, and basic geologic background and terrain landforms — together with details of its rich natural resources, ethnic problems, and relevant past histories. The book couples these details with the challenges of environmental degradation and new environmental management and protection, all of which are considered finally in both pessimistic and optimistic modes. The reader comes away with a nuanced understanding of the issues that are likely to have great affect for this pivotal region of the world for decades to come. With an estimated $1-3 trillion dollars of ore in the ground, and multiple cross-reinforcing cancellations of big Asian power machinations (China, India, Iran, Pakistan), Afghanistan has an opportunity to gain more economic independence. At the same time, however, historic forces of negativity also pull it back toward the chaos and uncertainty that has defined the country and constrained its economic progress for decades. Authored by the world’s foremost expert on the geology and geomorphology of Afghanistan and its lucrative natural resources Aids in the understanding of the physical environment, natural hazards, climate-change situations, and natural resources in one of the most geographically diverse and dangerous terrains in the world Provides new concepts of resource-corridor development in a country with no indigenous expertise of its resources