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Good grief

Someone does actually, sometimes, listen:

More recently, and more colloquially, the British economic writer Tim
Worstall commented on the U.S. government’s view of Afghanistan’s large
deposits of iron, copper, and lithium: “The problem with all of this is that
those minerals are worth nothing. Just bupkis.” The reason for his assertion: “The value of a mineral deposit is not the value of the metal once it
has been extracted. It’s the value of the metal extracted minus the costs
of doing the extraction. And as a good-enough rough guess the costs of
extracting those minerals in Afghanistan will be higher than the value
of the metals once extracted. That is, the deposits have no economic
value”—“As we can tell,” he adds, “from the fact that no one is lining up to
pay for them.”

This from the chapter:


Of this report:


Special Inspector General for
Afghanistan Reconstruction


JAN 30

28 thoughts on “Good grief”

  1. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    How much of those costs are the costs of keeping your miners safe from the dangers posed by the heavily-armed and trigger-happy locals?

    This is a problem in lots of places where stuff is actually dug (or more often sucked) out of the ground, but I guess usually not so acute as in Afghanistan.

  2. Given ‘Net Zero’ the cost may reduce sufficiently to make it viable- however the security situation would make that unlikely. That said if we continue the lunatic sanctions against Russia then we might have no choice…

  3. This applies to everything. It’s never a level playing field. Happens to people come down here, try to start businesses. It’s not the UK. Regulation costs are greater. Application can be variable & capricious. It’s not a high trust society. Undertakings to perform one would take for granted in the UK may or may not happen. The truth is a variable quality. All adds up to increased costs. What may be viable in the UK isn’t here.

  4. Must admit V-P, that I feel the rise in costs caused by Net Zero will make everything much more expensive and thus much less viable.

    Still no doubt our noble Green masters will solve the problem by just flogging the despicable plebs a bit harder.

  5. Net zero only becomes affordable if electricity prices go sky high. Interestingly, Macron tried this approach in his last administration, jacking up taxes on fuel and of course the gilets jaunes erupted. This time, he has gone the other way with his fuel price cap. Perhaps France will pull out of the Paris accord, given that the government shows no desire to impose fuel poverty on its citizens.

  6. Boganboy

    I was only commenting on the specific circumstances of Afghanistan and mining minerals – apologies!

    As for ‘Net Zero’ if Boris abandons it he has a chance of winning the next election. I’d go even further and criminalise the advocacy of it. Let’s get Murphy locked up along with all the other lunatics. It’s among the most stupid ideologies I have ever seen (Much of our societal malaise is caused by the ‘unholy trinity’ of Net Zero, CRT and Zero COVID) and ‘Net Zero’ is a good approximation of the adherent’s IQ!

  7. As for ‘Net Zero’ if Boris abandons it he has a chance of winning the next election.

    Ha ha ha. No. Boris will do as much harm as he can before he’s forced to cut and run. The next election will go the same as in Australia, faced with two parties but only one set of policies, the voters will go for the party that didn’t beat the crap out of them with the covid stick.

  8. V-P I’d love to see at least some sense in the UK. But I think RlJ is most likely to be right.

    As for not beating the crap out of us with the covid stick RlJ, Labor and all the state governments were howling for ScoMo to enforce more and more lockdown nonsense. And of course they then blamed him for it. And also for not being tough enough, so they felt they had to do something.

  9. I have a suspicion the Chinese are sniffing round Afghan mineral deposits as we chat. Sorry, can’t remember where I read that, so no link.

  10. I have just recently tested positive for Covid. Had a bit of a restless night, had a tickle at the back of my throat. Next morning woke up with a mild headache, body feeling slightly cold and achy, tickly throat. Took a test which came up positive. Took paracetamol every four hours so felt ok really. Slept well the following night but woke up with a headache so took some paracetamol with breakfast. By early afternoon I appear to be pretty much recovered. Has anyone else had the killer bug recently? I’m curious to know if my experience is now typical.

  11. Boganboy,
    Same in the UK of course. They both wanted to beat us but only one did. Lesser of two weevils.

  12. Boris will do exactly what Nut Nuts tells him, as she’s a fully paid up Green ecoloon.
    When you have them by the nuts, or Nut Nuts, the hearts and minds will soon follow.

    There’s a lot more ruin to come yet.
    We should have a raffle on what country is the first to hang the death-cultists. My bid would be Ceylon.

  13. @philip Everyone + dog has been sniffing around in Afghanistan to see if there’s anything worthwile. There obviously isn’t given that the country would never have been abandoned to the local religious fanatics if there was.

    As-is the chinese may have a chance to pull it off. They value human life, especially non-chinese, a bit different from us in the West. And they most certainly have a different way to …deal with.. the Environmentalists and others of that ilk. Ever noticed that the likes of Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion very much keep at safe shouting distance from anything chinese, instead of their usual shenanigans?

    Being far less hampered with “Rules of Engagement”, “Fairness”, “Eco[xxxxx]”, and “Opinion” than us Westerners the balance of “costs” may well fall into the black for them.
    Once they made a point to the locals that the usual traditional tactic of Flipping Sides for a Night Raid would be ….. Unwise..

  14. philip – SCMP, perhaps?

    Last I heard, several private, aka SOEs, were thinking of forming JVs. The CCP told them that if they were up for it, they were on their own.

    The Wakhan Corridor is long and narrow.

  15. @Stonyground From observation in the SA Homeless Compound (after the renovation faaaar better than a shelter.) I volunteer at…

    Out of the 85-ish Guests, half of them refusing the “5G poison”, and 80% completely disregarding any WuFlu measures in place to begin with…
    In the 6 months up to April (so mostly Omicron variant) about 2-3 positive cases + symptoms per week.
    Most of them had pretty much your experience, two days of Meh followed by another three of utter boredom to clear the mandatory 5 days of isolation.
    No-one needed to be transported to the CoVid ship in Rotterdam, let alone be hospitalised.

    Any serious cases/deaths we had from/with CoVid were in the Addiction Center and our Senior Ward, but those places generally have only one way out to begin with..

    So yeah… Outside of the Obvious Risk Groups it seems that your experience is ..typical.. for Omicron/latest variants. Most is two/three days of Meh, worst is comparable to a decent flu taking a week to pass, with the extra week to get back on your feet.

  16. Interesting to see powerful people actually listening.

    Perhaps they will forget about Afghan minerals. I find it hard to believe the Taliban are going to have warm relations with any large enough mining company.

  17. I caught covid over the Easter break, I had 2 days of sore throat, but was able to work in my office. Then 2 more days of really nasty sore throat when I didn’t feel like doing anything much. Then that disappeared virtually overnight and I had a about a week of feeling really tired, with no other symptoms. Back to full functioning inside a fortnight.

    Incidentally on the Net Zero bollocks, here’s Bjorn Lomberg on what the effect of the EU’s 55% reduction CO2 emissions by 2030 will be on future global temperatures:

    The square root of bugger all in global terms.

    Remember that Tim, next time you start debating one of the eco-loons. Their end point is not reducing climate change or global warming, its control over everyone and everything, and the destruction of freedom. Eco-nonsense all just a convenient cloak to hide their true intentions. You are taking these people as honest actors, which is the furthest thing from the truth imaginable.

  18. Spent 10 days in hospital with Covid, still didn’t make me change my opinion that the entire thing and the response was massively over done and the level of fear was totally unrealistic.
    Also didn’t stop me living life, just got back from a trip to Tahiti which involved packed flights and lots of mingling with people I didn’t know, will soon be driving 1,400 miles to drop a car off for a friend before flying back. It’s endemic so no point worrying about where or if you’ll catch it.

  19. There obviously isn’t given that the country would never have been abandoned to the local religious fanatics if there was

    There’s Lapis Lazuli 🙂

    Actually given how expensive that was as a pigment I expect that the local tribesmen were just as difficult to deal with in Renaissance times.

  20. @Stonyground: had it recently, brought home by my wife from train journeys.

    I didn’t like it though I have been much iller with flu in the past. I didn’t, for example, need to lie in bed all day. I don’t use paracetamol for this sort of thing – the high temperature is part of your immune system’s response to the need to fight it off. It’s a poor idea to impair that. (Or so I understand: has medical dogma changed its mind on this?)

    Two particularly annoying aspects –

    (i) The sore throat was a bugger. “Strepsils” helped.

    (ii) The cough. It’s gone on, at a reduced rate, for weeks now, long after the infection has gone. I gather that’s common.

  21. Lets be honest Jim. For everyone except the deluded commenting under newspaper articles, it’s all about grift. Politicians, campaigners, media whores, scientists with their fat research grants. All about grift.

  22. @TtC
    +1 on PM Nut Nut

    I wonder who was booed on Friday – him, her or both?


    Yes, infected with Omicron in hospital {out-patient) in Feb. A mild headache for 2 or 3 days otherwise fine, then a 1 day mild-med cold.

    So debilitating /sarc that I continued as normal, didn’t take any meds and went to bed 1 hour earlier than normal on ‘the cold’ day

    Next day fine again

    Unjabbed, in 50s

    Talking of booed

    This sounds like a Joke Nina Jancowiczbut Ministry of Truth CEO Nina Jancowicz really said it

    Nina Jancowicz reminded me of someone. For weeks it’s been bugging me, then I saw her doppelganger on news: Cherie Blair

  23. “There’s more than one column of mine out there making that point…..”

    What, that eco-nonsense is just cover for the destruction of free markets and personal liberties?

    I don’t think you’ve said that, that sort of stuff would get you cancelled.

    You try to take the eco-loons pronouncements at face value and show they are internally inconsistent and illogical. Which is pointless, their arguments are not supposed to be logical or based in reality, they are just cover for their true intentions. You debating with them on a level playing field just gives their crackpot views a veneer of respectability.

  24. @Jim


    Many here have been telling Timmy that for years, especially on his support of a carbon tax

    FGS, all soil, plant, animal and thus food on earth is carbon based. A tax on breathing Timmy?

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