The deals involve local companies with foreign partners, including China, Iran, and Turkey.
Afghanistan’s Taliban-led government has recently inked seven mining contracts valued at $6.5 billion, marking the most significant round of deals since they seized power two years ago. These contracts involve local companies with foreign partners, including China, Iran, and Turkey, and encompass the extraction and processing of resources such as iron ore, lead, zinc, and gold in four provinces: Herat, Ghor, Logar, and Takhar.
Abdul Ghani Baradar Akhund has stated that these contracts will generate thousands of jobs and improve the country’s economic situation. The Taliban government has been seeking foreign investments to revitalize Afghanistan’s economy, as a substantial portion of the previous Western-backed Afghan government’s budget relied on international assistance. Similar to past Afghan administrations, the Taliban is pinning its hopes on the country’s vast and untapped mineral resources to boost its finances, with Logar province believed to host one of the world’s largest copper deposits.
It’s worth noting that mining in Afghanistan holds significant potential for the country’s economy due to its vast and largely untapped mineral resources, including copper, iron ore, gold, lithium, and rare earth elements. However, the mining sector in Afghanistan faces numerous challenges, exacerbated by the 20 years of US occupation. Following the hasty withdrawal on August 31, 2021, Afghanistan’s current situation is more dire and complex than ever before.
The country has been striving to attract foreign investments for its mining industry and job creation, but progress has been slow and complicated. Additionally, it’s imperative to manage the environmental and social impacts of mining carefully to ensure sustainable development and the well-being of local communities, especially after years of exploitation by the US.