Value of signed contracts in mining sector reaches $7b

KABUL (Tolo News): The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) said that the value of contracts signed in the mining sector in the past two years has reached nearly seven billion dollars. The Ministry’s spokesman Humayun Afghan told TOLOnews that these contracts have been signed with domestic and foreign companies. “Investors in these seven contracts include Iranian, Chinese, Turkish, and British companies, with a total investment of about $6.5 billion,” said Afghan. The spokesperson added that during this period, local firms were also given the contract for the extraction of 200 minor mines. The lead mines in the province of Ghor as well as the oil and iron mines in Panjshir, according to the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, are now ready for extraction and investors can invest in them. “A proper policy should be created for the extraction of mines that ensures Afghanistan’s national economic interests. The same behavior should be done with neighboring countries and foreign and domestic companies,” said Shaker Yaqoubi, an economist. “Mining can be useful, and valuable in terms of raising the level of employment in the country,” said Abdul Zohor Mudabar, another economist. Meanwhile, the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) said that the Islamic Emirate should hand over mining contracts to domestic and foreign companies while maintaining national interests. According to the ACCI, the Islamic Emirate should offer the required facilities in the investment sector to draw in more foreign investment, and the international community should also lift the restrictions that have been put in place. “The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum has a responsibility to provide easy and good conditions for both Afghan and foreign investors, and for the national economic interests, it must prepare the conditions to increase the level of investment,” said Mohammad Younis Momand, the head of ACCI. Earlier, the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum said that all mine extraction is completely transparent and that no mine will be extracted illegally in the nation.