The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

MoMP says small mining projects available for private sector investment

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Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) has informed of opening opportunities to private sector invest in small mining projects in the country.
According to officials of the ministry of mines and petroleum, 136 mining areas have been newly identified in the country and by giving this opportunity to private sector, revenues of Afghanistan government in the field of small mining projects will annually reach to 350 million Afghani.
“The new scheme of giving opportunity to private sector to invest in small mining project is aimed to make use of our capacity that we have in the field of extraction industry particularly in construction materials so that we can get further revenue and provide employment to people,” said Abdul Qadir Mutfi, a spokesperson to the ministry of mines and petroleum.
Meanwhile, a number of experts say currently a big part of small construction mines are illegally extracted by armed individuals in various parts of the country.
“In Afghanistan, we have lots of mines that have not been extracted so far and if extracted, it was extracted illegally and unprofessionally; therefore, legalization of extraction of small mines is a positive step,” said Abdul Qadir Jailani, an Afghan economist.
Another Afghan economist Saifuddin Saihoon says Afghan government officials have the responsibility to seriously monitor work process of the mining projects.
“Unfortunately the issue of mines has been always criticized in recent as most of small mines are illegally extracted by individuals,” Saihoon said, adding that giving opportunity to private sector to invest on small mining projects is good, but there should be guarantee by private sector as mines are national investment of the country.
Based on statistics provided by the ministry of mines and petroleum, currently there are 125 small mines of construction materials from which Afghanistan government gets 200 million Afghani annually.
It is worth mentioning that Afghanistan is rich in mines considered as the biggest hope for economic development of the country. The government of Afghanistan has named 2014 – 2024 years as decade of change and is trying to change the current circumstances of the country.
Previously, Afghanistan ministry of mines and petroleum had said that the country’s untapped minerals and mines wealth is worth at least $3 trillion.
Currently, more than 1400 areas of the country have been identified as mining areas located in various parts of the country.
Afghanistan has huge natural energy and mineral resources including iron, copper, coal, gold, oil, gas and lithium which have enormous potential for economic development. Lithium is a soft, silver-white metal that is widely used as a key component in manufacturing technological instruments such as computers.
Shukria Kohistani

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.