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Afghan War News > General Info > Development > Afghan Marble

Afghan Marble Industry

The United States, Europe, Australia, Japan, and many other nations have spent billions of dollars trying to get the Afghan economy up and running. Much of the Afghan economy is a result of the many construction and development projects funded by donor nations. A bright spot on the horizon is the Afghan marble industry.

Marble Quarry in Herat, Afghanistan
Marble Quarry in Herat, Afghanistan (Photo Melissa Skorka)

International Assistance. The international community has recognized that the Afghan marble industry, and the Afghan mineral sector, holds great promise for the future. Efforts are being made by different international actors to help the Afghan marble industry to include help from the United States. (1)

Economic Factors. There are some internal economic factors in play. Afghanistan is home to many different mineral resources that could potentially bring a lot of money into the Afghan economy. One of these mineral resources is marble.

Herat Marble. The marble industry in Afghanistan is centered mostly in the Herat area. It is one of the factors that has made Herat an economically viable region of Afghanistan. Herat is significantly more secure than the rest of the country and this has provided a breathing space for some economic sectors in Herat to prosper.

 New Silk Road Strategy (NSRS). The United States is pushing foward an economic development plan to encourage commercial transportation nodes and routes throughout central Asia (and beyond). This New Silk Road Strategy will certainly benefit nations like Afghanistan. Key to this NSRS is the construction and upgrading of roads and railroads throughout central Asia. There is much work being done to build new railroads in Afghanistan.

Websites with Information about the Afghan Marble Industry

Afghanistan Geological Survey.  Part of the Ministry of Mines. Provides information about the AGS, Afghan geology, minerals and mining, information resources, and more. Website is hosted by the British Geological Survey. Website available here - hosted by the British Geological Survey.

Publications, Briefings, and Reports about Afghan Marble
(listed in chronogical order)

Skorak, Melissa, "Afghanistan's untold success story", The AFPAK Channel on Foreign Policy, October 22, 2013. A COIN Advisor on the COMISAF Advisory and Assistance Team (CAAT) provides inside into the marble industry of Afghanistan. Available here.

Skorka, Melissa, RC West's Untold Economic Success Story, ISAF News Release, July 2013. An article on the impressive advancements made in the marble industry in the Herat region of Afghanistan. Available on ISAF website here.

Rassin, Abdul Ghafar, A Comprehensive Study of Marble Industry in Afghanistan, Research & Statistics Department, Afghanistan Investment Support Agency, April 2012. Available here on

Yahya, Mir A. Rahim, Afghanistan's Marble Industry Competitiveness, MBA Program, University of Wales, UK. January 2009. Available here on

OTF Group, Marble Cluster Strategy, February 2006. A presentation by OTF Group (USAID affilitated) about the future of the marble industry in Afghanistan. Available here on the website.

Afghanistan Geological Survery, Marbles of Afghanistan. A publication describing the various types of marble found by in different regions of Afghanistan. (no date of publication). Available here on the British Geological Survey website.

News Reports about Afghan Marble Industry

June 17, 2017. "US Indicts Owner of Afghan Mining Company for Defrauding Government", Voice of America.

February 19, 2015. "India to develop Afghan's marble industry". Business Standard. The Centre for Development of Stones (CDOS), an institution for the development of the stone industry in India, will help local Afghan businesses in skill and capacity development in the stone cutting and polishing sector.

October 17, 2013. "ISAF Meets with Afghan Marble Center of Excellence at Trade Exhibition in Verona". ISAF News Release. The international event held in Italy, is described in this article by Melissa Skorka - an advisor on the COMISAF Advisory and Assistance Team (CATT). The event provided an opportunity for international marble industry representatives to learn more about the Afghan marble industry.

May 28, 2013. "GIRoA and Private Sector Join Forces to Strengthen Marble Industry". Seminar held to bring efforts of govt and private sector together.

February 2013. "India to help Afghanistan develop stone industry". Daily News of India details Indian efforts to assist the Afghan stone industry (view here).

July 6, 2012. "Afghanistan's heart of marble". This NATO news release provides info on the growth of the marble industry in the Herat region. Available here on the NATO website.

March/April 2012. "Hard Rock in Afghanistan". USAID press release available here. Discusses the marble industry in Herat.

May 25, 2011. "New Marble-Processing Facility in Inaugurated at Marble Conference Opening". USAID. Available here at USAID website.

February 2011. "World-Class Marble Produced in Herat", BizNews Online Newsletter, available here on the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce website.

April 13, 2010. "Ambassador's Remarks at the Afghanistan International Marble Conference Kicks Off in Herat". Press release by the Embassy of the United States. Available here on the embassy website.

April 15, 2010. "Afghanistan's marble industry to boost economy and bring peace". UNAMA. News about Afghanistan's marble sector in Herat. Available here.

April 30, 2009. "Afghan Marble Conference Promotes Industry Growth". USAID. News article, available here, discusses the different types of marble found in Afghanistan.

March 2009. "Afghan Marble Offers Beauty and Hope". International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce (USA). Available here on ITA website.





1. See a solicitation by the United States for the establishment of a Center of Excellence for the marble industry in support of the Department of Comerces Afghan Industry Development program, dated July 12, 2012, Solicitation Number: D12PS00461. Available here on the website.




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