Iron-ore deal with Indian firm almost finalised



KABUL (PAN): The Afghan government on Wednesday said it had settled most of the issues pertaining to a id="mce_marker"0.8 billion deal with a consortium of Indian companies on developing an iron-ore mine.

Located in central Bamyan province, the Hajigak mine contains an estimated 1.8 billion tonnes of ore, with an iron concentration of 62 percent. The figures are based on a survey conducted more than 50 years ago.

In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Mines Ministry spokesman Rafi Rafique Siddiqui said: “We have made 80 percent progress on finalising the iron ore contract with the consortium led by the Steel Authority of India.”

The only sticking point between the two sides pertaining to iron transportation from the site, according to the official, who said they were close to resolving the issue.

In March 2011, the ministry awarded the Hajigak mine contract to the seven-firm consortium. But there has since been no progress on development of the site whose fate remains uncertain.

A day earlier, an unnamed official of the ministry told Reuters negotiations with the consortium were suspended for some reason. But the group has not withdrawn from the process.


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