The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Afghanistan minerals; treasury for national power & economic development

Afghanistan mines are considered as a treasury for national power and economic development for the future of the country’s people. Unfortunately, the country’s mines still have not been managed in a better way. With better management of the country’s mines, poverty will definitely reduce and economic challenges will be considerably addressed in the country.
In 2010, the U.S. estimated that Afghanistan had US$1 trillion worth of unexploited minerals, while the previous government in 2017 said that the country’s minerals are worth three times as much.
The unexplored mineral deposits include vast reserves of lithium, rare earth and copper – materials critical to the global green-energy transition.
Currently, the Islamic Emirate is making effort to attract foreign investment on the country’s minerals so that the extraction of minerals can help develop the country’s economy and provide employment opportunities for thousands of Afghans. In a most recent move, the IEA officials have signed a contract with China’s CAPEIC (Xinjiang Central Asia Petroleum and Gas Co) for the extraction of oil in the Amu River basin, which covers a large area across the parts of three northern provinces.
The contract considered as the biggest project was signed late last week between the Afghanistan Ministry of Mines and Petroleum and the CPEIC company in the presence of Mullah Abdul Ghani Beradar Akhund, the Economic Deputy of the Prime Minister, and Chinese ambassador to Kabul.
Based on the contract, oil will be extracted from an area covering 4,500 square km across parts of Sar-e-Pul, Jawzjan and Faryab provinces and the rate of oil extraction will be from 1,000 to 23,000 tons per day and the company will invest up to $150 million a year, which will increase to $540 million in three years.
According to the contract, the IEA will own a 20 percent share in the oil fields, but in time the percentage will increase to 75 percent.
With starting work on the oil fields, 3,000 jobs will be created for Afghans and it has been also agreed that if the Chinese company does not fulfill all its requirements within a year, the contract will automatically be canceled.
Afghan experts believe that Afghanistan is rich in natural resources and its minerals have not been extracted so far.
Continued war in the country had resulted that the extraction process of the country’s minerals faced with challenges during the course of past years.
They said that extraction of the country’s minerals can accelerate future economic growth in Afghanistan as it creates employment and boost income, business prosperity, and the development of transportation and infrastructure.
According to the Afghan experts, if Afghanistan’s natural resources are properly managed, just the mining sector in Afghanistan has the potential to reduce poverty and help sustain economic growth and the country will become one of the richest countries in the region in just less than a decade.
Previously, the Afghanistan Ministry of Mines and Petroleum had said that in the near future, a Chinese company would open its office in Kabul and take the necessary steps to start work on Aynak Copper mine. Meanwhile, Chinese media has also written that some Chinese businessmen have visited Afghanistan to do their research on lithium mines in the country.
Shukria Kohistani

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.