The Taliban in Afghanistan have signed seven mining contracts
- These contracts are signed with enterprises that have cooperative relations with foreign partners
- The minerals involved include iron ore, lead, zinc, gold and copper and are distributed in four provinces: Herat, Ghor, Logar and Takhar
The Taliban in Afghanistan have signed seven mining contracts that could lead to an estimated $6.5 billion in investment, AP reported recently. The deal is the biggest signed by the Taliban since they took power two years ago.
The contracts were signed with companies that work with foreign partners, the AP said. The minerals involved include iron ore, lead, zinc, gold and copper and are distributed in four provinces: Herat, Ghor, Logar and Takhar.
According to US media reports, Mining and Petroleum Minister Shahabuddin Dilawar attended the signing ceremony reported on television on Thursday. In an official statement, Dilawal said a gold mining deal in Takhar signed with a Chinese company gave the Taliban government a 65 percent stake for the next five years.
In addition, the agreement signed with Turkey, Iran and the United Kingdom to mine iron ore in Herat province gives the Taliban government a 13% interest for the next 30 years. "Afghanistan will eventually become an iron exporter," he said.
The Taliban did not release further details of the contracts, saying only that "the projects will create thousands of jobs and significantly improve the country's economic situation" and will attract $6.5 billion in foreign investment.
However, Javed Noorani, an expert at the Afghan Ministry of Mines, said that "mining projects take many years to come into production, and any agreement data can be misleading before it is completed."
Since taking power in August 2021, the Taliban have been looking to foreign investment to revive the economy, especially the vast mineral resources that have so far remained untapped.
"The Taliban know that Afghanistan has mineral resources, which are wealth, but not easily liquidated wealth," Noorani said. "Mining is a very complex industry that requires appropriate regulatory systems, strategies, institutions and infrastructure. The industry got off to a slow start and was very inefficient at first."
Tamim Asey, a former official at Afghanistan's Ministry of Mines and Oil, said: "The finance and banking sector in Afghanistan is almost paralyzed. The system of regulations and policies in the mining industry is vague and almost non-existent. There is no constitution, let alone a mining code." Editor/Xu Shengpeng
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