China eyes Afghan hi-tech treasures

29 August 2021 - 05:00 By Bloomberg

When the US invaded Afghanistan in 2001, the global economy looked a lot different: Tesla wasn't a company, the iPhone didn't exist and artificial intelligence was best known as a Steven Spielberg film.

Now all three are at the cutting edge of a modern economy driven by advancements in hi-tech chips and large-capacity batteries that are made with a range of minerals, including rare earths. And Afghanistan is sitting on deposits estimated to be worth $1- trillion (about R15-trillion), including what may be the world's largest lithium reserves - if anyone can get them out of the ground...

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