HISTORY OF GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
Afghanistan has been known for the source of Precious and Semi-Precious stones such as Ruby and Emerald from the very old age of the country. Mining process in Afghanistan has reached to the age of 6000 years which is proven by a sample from Aynak copper deposition in Logar Province.
Prior to the initiation of 19 century, systematic efforts were done by the British military board to assess mineral resources of the region. Since then, different geological teams have investigated the areas alongside Silk Road. Those investigations are considered as the fundamentals of Afghanistan’s current geologic knowledge.
The new era of Geologic and Mineral resources studies in Afghanistan started by the opening of Geological Management in July, 1955. This act shows the start of Mineral and Geologic organized surveys that were conducted since 30 years. This period was assigned for extensive mapping activities. Later on, activities such as geological surveys, exploration of mineral occurrences, as well as detailed assessment of the exploration were also implemented.
Next French, German and Italian geologists were here to perform geologic affairs in early 19th century. They cooperated on preparing maps and developing documents about mineral reserves in Afghanistan, as well as finalizing and publishing them which summarizes international studies on Afghanistan. 1:500000 scale geologic maps was prepared through the geologic studies implemented in Afghanistan which resulted in identifying more than 1400 mineral occurrences and mineral showing sites. Those investigations resulted on changing the National Geological Survey to Geology and Minerals Directorate, next to the directorate of Mining and Geology. That period represents the most important stage of minerals exploration which has been paying the ways for the resulting of numerous reports on mineral occurrences and mineral resources.
Like other governmental entities, Afghanistan’s Geological Survey Directorate, is also weakened, due to more than two decades of conflict, and affected by lack of investment, beneficial development, and inability of implementing special projects. AGS building was extremely damaged during civil wars in 1992. On the era of civil wars in Afghanistan, and despite the great dangers, reports, maps, and geological samples were transferred and kept at AGS employees houses, based on Dr. Mir Akbar’s instruction. All those information were returned back to AGS in 2001.
After the establishment of interim government, development of policies and strategies for mining sector started with the assistance of World Bank. Considering all the efforts, to implement their activities according to mineral industry standard and to be known as a modern entity, as well as
acquiring skills to implement their mapping programs and mineral assessment through the contemporary methods, AGS needed reconstruction and renewing its structure.
United States Geological Survey (USGS) and British Geological Survey (BGS) started their technical and investigational assistant with AGS in 2004. Joint efforts were done in implementing programs, such as: capacity building, geological mapping, mineral and hydrocarbon assessment, creating geologic, mineral and GIS databases, conducting training courses for Afghan geologists and engineers, and reconstruction of AGS building.
Based on the latest mining law approved by the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, AGS DG promoted to Deputy Ministry. MoMP and the new leadership of AGS DM acts a more befitting role as a scientific and research entity for geologic studies in accordance to international standards.
To serve serves the Afghan nation by providing reliable scientific earth sciences information by conducting geological, geophysical, and environmental studies, reconnaissance missions, maintaining cadastral survey maps, defining mineral resources, mapping, and public database of geological information. (Article 5 of mineral law, and reform strategy)
Afghanistan Geological Survey (AGS) Organizational Chart: