These people are insane

Afghanistan is the world’s largest unexploited reserves of copper, coal, cobalt, mercury, gold, and lithium, valued at US$1 trillion. Its rare-earth metals may be worth even more.

The place doesn’t have reserves. Because no one has done the work to prove they can be extracted at a profit. Which is the definition of a reserve.

The idea that the rare earths are worth – possibly – more than a trillion is just outright lunacy. Let’s value that concentrate at $20 a kg. Far more than reality – maybe 10x some time prices. OK. So, world currently uses 150k tonnes a year. So, we’ve a $3 billion a year market then (this is closer to the value of the refined market than the raw concentrate but hell, let’s give ’em a lot of room).

150,000 x 1,000 x $20 is $3 billion, right?

At which point we’re going to value deposits, in the ground, before mining let alone separation, at over a trillion $?

Sure, sure, growing market, turn the world green and it’s still fucking insane.

BTW, in 2009 concentrate was more like $2 a kg……it’s the separation that adds another $20 a kg to the costs. Separation costs obviously depress the value of concentrate……

12 thoughts on “These people are insane”

  1. they should frame any cooperation with the PRC in terms of the mutual interest all parties have in a stable Afghanistan that does not harbour or export Jihadists.

    Exporting jihadis, then pretending to be shocked – shocked! – when the mentally retarded ruminant fucker does jihadi stuff in your local Co-Op and who could possibly have seen this coming is the Home Office’s job.

    With a little side role for the local imam to swear to Allah none of this had anything to do with the entirely peaceful stuff they discussed at the mosque and why are you even asking, bigot?

    Irregardless, I see the government has decided it’s going to tolerate absolutely no more violent shenaniganry from… incels.

  2. Following Steve’s comment –

    So the PRC has been having trouble with jihadists?

    I think not.

    I’d rather expect the PRC to be totally on board with whatever annoyances can be thrown at the West.

  3. I wouldn’t be surprised if China’s attitude to the Taliban was: We don’t care what you do as long as you never do it in China, if you do we’ll shoot you, your family, your family’s grocers, your family’s grocers’ plumber’s girlfriend’s brother’s dog…

  4. Depends what the aim in Afghanistan actually is, longer term, but it’s not clear how focusing on extracting and exporting “the world’s largest unexploited reserves of copper, coal, cobalt, mercury, gold, and lithium” leads to anything other than Dutch Disease, making the place even worse.

    If that’s actually possible, of course.

  5. If the Chinese wish to invest in Afghanistan, I’d naturally say, it’s their money, they can piss it away how they please. I certainly wouldn’t waste a penny on the place myself.

    The only part of the reference that makes any sense is where it points out that the Chinese’d rather not have problems with terrorists, Mahometans and other vermin creeping across their border.

    Perhaps one might argue that the PRC and the Taliban deserve each other?

  6. We (US & UK taxpayers) built a hydroelectric dam. You may recall the bravery involved in transporting the turbine to the dam. Would have made a great film.

    There beside the dam the turbine sits, gently rusting. And no grid to connect to. Too easy to sabotage.

    The same will happen with minerals. They might get as far as proving reserves. Installing the kit, delivering the fuel to run it, will involve pay offs to every neighbourhood thug and micro-ethnic, with some freelance banditry on the side.

    There’s a difference between conquering a country and ruling it. The Taliban will face the same problem as the US did, but with less money.

  7. Bloke in North Dorset

    So the PRC has been having trouble with jihadists?

    They’ve got experience of jihadists, hence the clampdown on the Uighurs. Up until that point they’d been treated quite well and had even been exempt from the 1 child rule.

    I think the PRC will be keeping a very close eye on the Taliban.

  8. BiND

    Those aren’t jihadists. Jihadists are imported.

    Those are just concerned citizens, exercising their democratic right to kill whitey.

    Oh, wait.

  9. @philip – “We (US & UK taxpayers) built a hydroelectric dam. Would have made a great film.
    There beside the dam the turbine sits, gently rusting”

    I saw the movie you refer obliquely to, a few days ago. Its called ‘Kajarki’ (remember as like kojak but with an ‘a’ and then an ‘i’ on the end.) Its very watchable and I recommend it.
    The turbine did get installed eventually, its all on wiki. TBH, I cannot see why the taliban would want to disrupt electricity supply, but I may be being naive.

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