This should have a major effect on the the future of Afghanistan, though it could go either way. Many countries with rich mineral resources have a bad habit of turning and remaining authoritarian. On the flip side, this could promote much needed investment and a transformation into an exporting economy where the predominant good is not a narcotic.
"The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.
The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe."