Nature has endowed #afghanistan with the gift of a wide variety of minerals, including #lithium, an indispensable part of today’s electronic gadgets like mobile phones and computer batteries. The country wants to attract investors, especially from the United States and, is hopeful that President #Donald Trump will have a positive outlook on investments in Afghanistan.

Problems with retrieval of lithium

The amount of deposits of lithium, coal, copper, and rare earths is estimated to be in the region of trillions of dollars but, the catch is the accessibility. According to Fox News, the stumbling block is the presence of the Taliban in the three main regions where lithium deposits are located.

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One of these is Ghazni in the east where the presence of the Taliban is a matter of concern. The remaining two are Herat and Nimroz in the west which are scenes of regular encounters with Afghan forces.

Obviously, gaining entry into these lithium rich areas is not an easy task. Therefore, wooing investors from America appears to be a farfetched dream for Afghanistan unless it is able to influence the policies of President Donald Trump to its advantage.

America’s policy on Afghanistan

During his campaign trail, Trump expressed dislike of the American involvement in Afghanistan, calling it America's longest-running war. Right now, there are around 8,400 U.S. troops positioned there to train Afghan forces and carry out operations related to counter-terrorism activities.

Kabul is keen to create a platform that would be beneficial to both the countries.

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It hopes that the promise of untapped mineral wealth like that of lithium will do the magic. President Ashraf Ghani had talks with President Donald Trump in December, and the mineral wealth was one of the points. Mohammad Humayon Qayoumi, the chief adviser to Afghan president on infrastructure, human capital and technology, said that the subject drew the attention of Trump's administration.

The U.S. realizes that sustainable economic development is the need of the hour for the stability of Afghanistan and its mineral resources could bring about a transformation. A report from 2007 by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Afghan government had concluded that the deposits were significant. Before that, surveys had been done by the Soviets but, the U.S. survey has predicted larger deposits compared to earlier projections.

Donald Trump understands business and, Ashraf Ghani wants to cash in on that. If Trump decides to make inroads into Taliban territory to retrieve the minerals, it will help Afghanistan to come back from the brink.