Jawad Omer, a spokesman for the Afghan Mining Ministry, told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that Terraseis discovered an oil field in Faryab province near the border with Turkmenistan. He said "technical research" has been done at the site, though there was no public comment available from Terraseis.
The China National Petroleum Corp. announced it began producing oil this week in neighboring Sar-e-Pul province. Chinese companies are also working across the border in Turkmenistan to develop the South Yolotan-Osman natural gas field.
U.S. officials estimated in 2010 that there could be as much as $1 trillion worth of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and lithium in Afghanistan.
A 2007 survey found an estimated 1.5 million metric tons of potential rare earth resources in southern Afghanistan. The international community gets more than 95 percent of its rare earth minerals from China.
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