Wikipedia wrote:Mes Aynak (Pashto: مس عينک, meaning "little source of copper") is a site 40 km (25 mi) southeast of Kabul, Afghanistan, located in a barren region of Logar Province. The site contains Afghanistan's largest copper deposit, as well as the remains of an ancient settlement with over 400 Buddha statues, stupas and a 40 ha (100 acres) monastery complex. It is also considered a major transit route for insurgents coming from Pakistan. Archaeologists are only beginning to find remnants of an older 5,000-year-old Bronze Age site beneath the Buddhist level, including an ancient copper smelter.
The site of Mes Aynak possesses a vast complex of Buddhist monasteries, homes, and market areas. The site contains artifacts recovered from the Bronze Age, and some of the artifacts recovered have dated back over three thousand years. The site's orientation on the Silk Road has yielded a mixture of elements from Iran, China and India. The wealth of Mes Aynak’s residents has been well represented in the site's far-reaching size and well guarded perimeter. Afghanistan’s eagerness to unearth the copper below the site is leading to the site's destruction rather than its preservation. Archaeologists have photographed the site and the relics excavated.
The Buddhist ruins were scheduled to be destroyed at the end of July 2012, but for several reasons, including political instability, this has been delayed.
Some recent articles (CNBC, chronological order):
And a documentary (lots more on YT):