Wall Street Journal: Help Afghans Exploit Their Mineral Riches

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The following column first appeared in the Wall Street Journal: I met with President Trump recently to discuss American development of Afghanistan’s mineral deposits. Afghanistan owns one of the world’s richest untapped deposits of rare-earth and critical metals. The Afghans cannot develop these vast deposits on their own, but if they get U.S. help to do the job right, they will have an opportunity to move from a war-torn nation to a self-sustaining economy. These materials are essential to green technology. A misconception in the environmental movement is that green technology eliminates mining. In fact it simply changes what you mine. You can’t build an electric car without neodymium and lanthanum, or produce solar or wind energy without indium and gallium. No doubt the entire supply chain, from rare-earth ore to a solar panel, has less environmental impact than mining and burning coal, but bottom line it’s still mining. Read the full story at the Wall Street Journal.