KABUL (Pajhwok): Ghazni is one of Afghanistan’s ancient, populous 2nd-grade provinces, located 145 kilometers west of the central capital Kabul. It has a rich history, ancient sites and enormous mineral wealth. .
The province, which lies on the Kabul–Kandahar highway, has historically served as a commercial hub. Ghazni usually remains hot in the summer and cold in the winter. The temperature in the winter dips to -30 degree centigrade.
In the summer, the mercury soars to 20 degree centigrade. Ghazni is blessed with bountiful natural resources such as copper, metal, oil, lead, silver, zinc, mercury, worlframite, azure, lithium, marble, talc, chromite, plaster and salt.
According to the provincial department of mines, surveys for taping some resources have been completed. Other studies are underway. Ghazni has the following natural resources:
Zarkashan gold mine: This mine is located in Maqur district, about 90 kilometres from the Ghazni city. According to surveys implemented by Russian, German and American experts in 1960 and in 1972, Zarkashan mine is estimated to contain 7,500 kilograms of gold.
Zarkashan copper mine: This mine is also located in Zarkashan area of Maqur district of Ghazni. The mine was identified by Afghan and Russian mine experts in 1971. Former mine and petroleum ministerWahidullah Shahrani estimate the Zarkashan mine value at around $30 billion.
Azure mine: According to information, about 2,500 years ago, some of Ghazni azure was taken to Egypt for decorating pharaoh’s sculpture. There are widespread signs of azure existence in Ghazni but its amount is unclear.
Marbles: With 45 kinds of marble mines in Afghanistan, Jaghori district of Ghazni province is also rich in marble.
Salt: Salt is one of the important natural resources of Afghanistan. A salt mine is located in Ghazni’sMoqur district, but its amount is still not surveyed.
Lithium: Afghan and foreign mine experts discovered the world’s richest lithium mine in Nawar district of Ghazni province in 2010. According to recent surveys, Nawar has the world’s richest lithium mine. This mine contains about 30 percent of lithium, gold and copper.
Lithium is used in numerous applications in three basic forms: ore and concentrate, metal, and manufactured chemical compounds. Lithium's electrochemical reactivity and other unique properties have resulted in many commercial lithium products.
There are several other mines in Ghazni province but steps could not be taken for their identification.
There are signs of existence of rich chromites and talc in Zana Khan district-- 30 kilometres from Ghazni City. Also, there are signs of existence of copper mine in Deh Yak district. Experts believe oil in Waghaz district and gold in Andar could be found once surveys were conducted.