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War-Torn Afghanistan Sits Stubbornly Atop Vast Reserves Of Battery-Grade Lithium

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War-Torn Afghanistan Sits Stubbornly Atop Vast Reserves Of Battery-Grade Lithium

The world’s potential reliance on lithium — the silvery white metal used to make batteries powering electric vehicles, laptops and cell phones — has turned investor attention to unstable Afghanistan, which is sitting on vast deposits.

“We have more than enough lithium in the world to cover global demand, even as it grows at a clip, and from much safer sources,” the investor newsletter Energy & Capital said over the weekend, calling Afghanistan “The Saudi Arabia of lithium."

Is It Political?

“But that doesn’t make it any less valuable, and certainly not if you’re investing now.”

Afghanistan has been plagued by violence for decades and remains torn by terrorism and factional feuding. The U.S.-backed government remains at war with Taliban insurgents, who control many of the most mineral-rich portions of the country.

The country has used its mineral wealth to pique the interest of President Donald Trump.

It's Always Political

“Afghanistan has always been interested in the U.S. investing in many areas, specifically the mining area. Within mining, there are some areas that are strategic materials, such as lithium,” Mohammad Humayon Qayomi, a technology adviser to President Ashraf Ghani, told the Associated Press.

The AP said Ghani spoke with Trump about the country's mineral deposits in December and about the overall security situation in February in the country, where mining and petroleum operations are in disarray and plagued by corruption. About 8,400 U.S, troops remain stationed in Afghanistan.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported back in 2007 that Afghanistan was sitting on more than $1 trillion in precious metals and stones.

More About The Metal, Mining

Mining for battery-grade lithium is booming around the world. Yahoo Finance recently picked a pair of lithium producers among a list of five mining companies to watch: Arena Minerals Inc. (OTC: AMRZF) (CVE: AN) and Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB).

Investor’s Business Daily touted Global X Lithium & Battery Tech (NYSE: LIT), an exchange-traded fund that targets 26 global companies benefiting from lithium demand, including Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA), Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (OTC: SSNLF) and Panasonic Corporation (ADR) (OTC: PCRFY).

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Image Credit: "Lithium in paraffin oil,' By Tomihahndorf at German Wikipedia - Transferred from de.wikipedia to Commons., Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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