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Here's Why The Trillion-Dollar Afghan Mineral Discovery Is Bogus
People around the globe are reading widely circulated reports today of a tremendous mineral discovery in Afghanistan. Details are sketchy, but many rare and important metals are mentioned, and a potential value of $1 trillion dollars is mentioned in a New York Times story on the subject. This figure, at best, cannot be anything more than the wildest of guesses.
One does not have to be a geologist or an engineer to understand why. When geologists find outcropping mineralization, or other signs that an economic deposit of minerals may be present, that is not called a discovery. Even if the signs come from the latest scientific equipment flown over the country, as the U.S. government appears to have used, the result is still just an anomaly: a hopeful indication of where to look. And anomalies are like opinions: everybody has one....