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Pentagon, USGS launch new initiative to explore mineral resources in Afghanistan

(Xinhua)

09:15, November 30, 2011

WASHINGTON, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- The Pentagon and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) on Tuesday launched a new initiative to help Afghans better explore their mineral resources.

The Pentagon's Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO), in partnership with the USGS, will provide training and equipment specific to airborne geophysical exploration to the Afghan Geological Survey, the Pentagon said in a statement.

"This initiative is part of the U.S. Government's continuing efforts to help the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan identify and develop its vast deposits of mineral resources in a transparent and responsible fashion," the Pentagon said.

A key component of the new effort is to train Afghan geoscientists in collecting, processing and interpreting high- resolution geophysical data themselves.

"By working with the Afghan Geological Survey on an airborne geophysical exploration program, we are taking an important step in preparing the Afghan government to conduct their own mineral exploration efforts," said Emily Scott, director of natural resource development for the TFBSO. "The goal of this training is to enable the Afghan government to give the best information possible to international investors."

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