The Geographical Magazine on 7th August carries an article saying that an investigation reveals how the illegal export of talc, used in numerous household products, is providing significant funds to insurgents in Afghanistan. It points out that talc (also known as hydrated magnesium silicate) is used in a diverse range of household products, from plastics and baby powder to cosmetics and paints. One region of the world where the mineral can be found in large quantities, along with chromite and marble, is the Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan, along the border with Pakistan. The Taliban alone makes an estimated $300 million annually thanks to the talc trade, despite the introduction in 2015 of a ban on exporting these unprocessed minerals. The US imported more than 128,000 tons of talc from Pakistan in 2016, making it the country’s primary destination for talc exports, while more than 110,000 tons went to the EU and smaller quantities to South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Japan.