The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum of Afghanistan on Thursday signed contracts totaling more than $6.5 billion for the development of seven mines in the country, the TOLOnews television network reports.
The contracts were signed in a ceremony attended by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Deputy Prime Minister of Afghanistan for Economic Affairs and other officials of the country.
The acting Minister of Petroleum and Mines Shahabuddin Delawar speaking at the press conference at a contract-signing ceremony said that there is complete transparency in the mining contracts. He added that the illegal mining and smuggling have been prevented in the country.
Shahabuddin Delawar said that gold mine in Takhar province, with an area of 12 square kilometers, will be handed over to the China-Afghanistan Company with shareholder Zarawar Afghanistan Private Company involvement. $310 million will be invested in this project.
The second Mes Aynak mine contract in Logar province, with an area of 240 square kilometers, has been awarded to Turia, a private company. The company is expected to invest $411 million.
According to Delawar, the first section of the Ghoryan iron mine in Herat province has been handed over to Watan Darakhshan Company. Saheel Middle East Mining & Logistics Company, in collaboration with Afghan partner Dara-e-Noor and Turkish partner Epcol, secured the contract for the second section of the Ghoryan iron mine. The third section contract was awarded to Afghan company Shams and British companies GBM and AD Resources. The section contract was awarded to Bakhtar Steel Company and its Iranian partners Ahya Sepahan and Persian. The contracts for the four section of the mine are worth more than $5.41 billion.
Additionally, a lead mining contract in Tulak district of Ghor province has been handed over to Afghan Invest company and Epcol a Turkish company. The companies are expected to invest $537 million in the mine.
Afghanistan is sitting on mineral deposits estimated to be worth $1 trillion or more, according to a report published by Afghanistan’s Ministry of Mines and Petroleum published in 2019.