Monday, June 14, 2010

"Afghan Lithium And Other Mineral Nonsense"

From Jack Lifton:
Set your stop (common sense) watches!
I’ll bet that there is an Afghan Minerals, Inc (or Ltd) or an Afghan Minerals Fund (or ‘Trust’) by the end of the week, if not sooner, listed on an American secondary exchange and surely in Toronto, Vancouver, Sydney, and Frankfurt…
The New York Times has today, June 14, 2010 (Flag Day here in the USA) delivered a pieces of first-class political theater.
We are supposed to believe that one of the most primitive societies in the world – the cash crop of which is opium, and the actual government of which is tribal, fragmented, religiously fundamentalist, and hostile to Western values in general – is going to suddenly realize that the very little value its people get by being at the bottom of both the supply and value chain for narcotics, is going to be now supplanted by the very little value they will get from being at the very bottom of the supply and value chains for minerals needed by every other culture but the Afghan. Even the warlords (read ‘local officials’) would get less from mining companies than they get today from illegal drug distributors, so they’ll sign on, of course.

The New York Times is either acting as the agent of the US Department of State or just as the agent of the absurd.
Afghanistan is not the Saudi Arabia of lithium; it is the Saudi Arabia of ladies’ fashion. Afghans know as much about the one as the Saudis know about the other.
The development of natural resources requires that there is in place:
  1. Logistics, i.e., roads, vehicles, vehicle fueling and repair stations, railroads, railroad fueling, repair, and maintenance services, etc.;
  2. Huge quantities of flowing or pumpable water and systems to clean it, before returning it to any other use or even to the aquifer, and
  3. Enormous quantities of reliable electricity
Mining ventures in remote places usually fail, no matter how good their resource, due to the fact that they cannot afford to have the above necessary and critical resources put in place. In developed countries they can share the resources of logistics, water, and energy already in place, the costs for which are distributed among the population (i.e., government) and local industries of a similar type....MORE