Kalu, Afghanistan — In September, the government of Afghanistan will offer up a contract for mining rights in Bamyan Province about 80 miles outside of Kabul, hoping to attract international companies. Based on Soviet studies from teh 1960s, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates the potential value of Afghanistan's mineral wealth at a trillion dollars. The Afghan minister of mines says it could be as much as $3 trillion. But a lack of security and lack of infrastructure may hinder any progress.
Near the Hajigak Iron Ore Deposit, the villagers hope that development, if it comes, will bring jobs and money. But can the government assue the village elder that corruption won't siphon off the potential benefits to his people? The government promises everything will be public and transparent. The Afghans here hope that is true.