Facts about Economy and natural resources of PanjShir Valley

Facts about Economy and natural resources of PanjShir Valley

The Panjshir Valley has the potential to become a major centre of emerald mining. As early as the 1st century AD, Pliny the Elder commented on gemstones from the region.

In the Middle Ages, Panjshir was famed for its silver mining and the Saffarids and Samanids minted their coins there. As of 1985, emeralds upwards of 190 carats (38 g) had been found in Panjshir, reported to rival in quality the finest crystals of the Muzo mine in Colombia.

American reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan sparked a development boom in the valley with the construction of new modern roads and a new radio tower that allows valley residents to pick up radio signals from the Afghan capital, Kabul.

The valley has the potential of being an energy hub for Afghanistan, through the construction of several hydroelectric dams. Rewat locality could be the site of the first dam. The valley could make the capital region power self-reliant.

The Panjshir has always been an important highway. Nearly 100 kilometres (62 mi) long, it leads to two passes over the Hindu Kush – the Khawak Pass (3,848 m) leading to Afghanistan's northern plains, and the Anjuman Pass (4,430 m) that crosses into Badakhshan – used by the armies of Alexander the Great and Timur.

A 10-turbine wind farm was built in Panjshir Valley in April 2008.