• Mexico nationalized lithium

    "Elon Musk's worst nightmare."

  • Material worth of Afghanistan

    More than $3t of minerals (other, older report $1t), one province, Ghanzi, has $1t lithium deposit (largest in world). Estimates.

    China will fill the vacuum left by the US withdrawal. China has already said they will recognize the Taliban as the official government.

    Some have pointed out there may be a fundamental difference in the ability/willingness of China (versus the US) to deal with Afghanistan, considering possible human rights issues.

    Afghanistan's eastern arm borders Xinjiang. What will be the Taliban's response to that region? While they are fellow Muslims, many have raised a point that many of the groups, Taliban or otherwise, may be to a significant degree interested in political warmongering for control of wealth/resources. Others have raised the point that China may attempt to do it's familiar debt-trap diplomacy (if that is really a thing).

    Right now about 85% of the processing of Afghanistan's rare earth minerals is owned by China, who got ahead of the US decades ago (US playing catchup in this) when they saw the future in this business. Will China do like they did and do in Congo, where they give the local government a big cut while they extract the minerals and ship them to China for processing. This might solve the Taliban's supposed challenges in making money off their mineral wealth due to lack of infrastructure (and perhaps political sanctions?). A Taliban protectorate for Chinese mining zones has been suggested.

    Afghanistan is highly dependent on foreign aid and that is expected to remain the case. IMF funds reserved for the country are expected to remain so.

    Will some moralizing nations refuse to accept rare earth minerals from countries whose policies (human rights, aggressive threats) they disapprove of, as was done in South Africa?