Summary of the Ahankashan Area of Interest

Open-File Report 2015-1040
By: , and 



This report summarizes and interprets results of the work in the Ahankashan Area of Interest in northwestern Afghanistan and four study areas—the Ahankashan Prospect Area, Syahsang-Kushkak, Taghab-Soni, and Zakak-e ‘Olya—delineated for their potential undiscovered mineral occurrences with specific emphasis on porphyry copper and related occurrence types. The Area of Interest is underlain by rocks of three different geologic domains that cross from east to west—the Band-e-Bayan Block/Central Pamirs Domain in the south, the Hindu Kush Domain in the Paropamisus Mountains, and the Afghan Turkestan Domain in the north. The domains are sutured remnants of Tethyan tectonic elements. Interpretation of the geologic maps indicates the presence of thrust faults, strike-slip faults, and granitic intrusions emplaced in ground prepared by faulting. Thrust faulting was followed by strike-slip faulting and then followed by magmatic intrusions. Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer data were used to map minerals that have been altered by hydrothermal fluids typically associated with mineralization to delineate new potential occurrences of copper, gold, and silver. Propylitic-, argillic-, and phyllic-altered intrusive rocks are found in the area, as well as very minor amounts of hydrothermal silica-rich rocks. This area of interest is vastly underexplored and contains only seven known mineral occurrences, of which the Ahankashan copper (gold) skarn occurrence is the best known. Gold has been found in stream sediments near the Ahankashan skarn, in the Taghab-Soni study area, and possibly other parts of the Area of Interest, suggesting potential for at least small-scale placer occurrences.

Suggested Citation

Drew, L.J., Sutphin, D.M., Mars, J.C., and Bogdanow, A.K., 2015, Summary of the Ahankashan area of interest: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2015–1040, 26 p.,

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Previous Work
  • Geology
  • Metallogeny
  • Structural Geology
  • Known Mineral Occurrences
  • Ahankashan Study Area
  • Syahsang-Kushkak Study Area
  • Taghab-Soni Study Area
  • Zakak-e ‘Olya Study Area
  • Placer Gold
  • Summary of Potential
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Summary of the Ahankashan Area of Interest
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2015-1040
DOI 10.3133/ofr20151040
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Eastern Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center
Description iv, 26 p.
Country Afghanistan
Other Geospatial Ahankashan Area of Interest
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details