Taliban awards large mining contracts to foreign affiliated firms
- Web Desk
- Sep 04, 2023
KABUL: The Taliban interim administration in Afghanistan has inked mining deals valued at $6.5 billion, marking one of the most significant agreements since their takeover two years ago, according to Khaama press.
Seven contracts have been awarded to domestic firms, many of which are working in tandem with foreign entities from nations such as China, Iran, and Turkey.
According to the Afghan news agency, the mining activities, encompassing iron ore, lead, zinc, and gold, are set to commence in four Afghan provinces of Herat, Ghor, Logar, and Takhar.
Notably, Logar province is reputed to possess the world’s most substantial copper reserves.
A Chinese enterprise secured contract for gold extraction in Takhar provinceShahabuddin Dilawar
Taliban’s interim Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Abdul Ghani Baradar Akhund, refrained from divulging into the specifics of the investments but emphasised that they will lead to the creation of thousands of employment opportunities.
The announcement coincided with the Taliban’s commemoration of the second anniversary of the U.S.-led NATO forces’ departure, following almost two decades of conflict.
Taliban’s interim Minister of Mines and Petroleum, Shahabuddin Dilawar, revealed that a Chinese enterprise secured the contract for gold extraction in Takhar province. While the company’s identity remains undisclosed, it is slated to receive a 65% share of the profits over a five-year span, as reported by the VOA news outlet.
Earlier in the year, another Chinese firm entered into an oil extraction agreement with the Taliban administration while Beijing has also recently expressed interest in lithium mining ventures within Afghanistan.
Other contracts, particularly those related to iron ore mining and processing in Herat province, encompass investments from Turkey, Iran, and Britain. The Taliban anticipates that these endeavors will grant the government a 13% share over a 30-year period, potentially transforming Afghanistan into an iron exporter.
Following the Taliban’s rise to power in August 2021, foreign donations, which previously constituted a significant revenue source, ceased entirely. The prior civilian-led Afghan government relied heavily on international funding, accounting for approximately 80% of its budget.
With vast untapped mineral resources at its disposal, the Taliban administration is keen on leveraging these assets to replenish the national treasury, according to senior members of the interim Taliban setup in Kabul.