PUL-I-KHUMRY (PAN): Located in northeast of the country, Baghlan is considered an impassable province of the country, which is rich in precious underground reserves.
Natural resources, in particular coalmines of Baghlan have greater fame, which are widely used by locals and exported to neighboring Pakistan too.
Karkar, Dodkash, Ahan Dara, Khurd Dara, Chinarak, Shin Dara, Alogak, Tala war and Barfak are among coalmines, which are being extracted in a non professional way by local groups, damaging most of the precious items.
Economic experts are of the opinion if the mines are started extracting by private sectors after formal contracts from the government, it would bolster the country’s economy manifold.
As prices of other fuel items surges day by day, coal is being used in houses, brick kilns, public baths and industrial factories because of affordable prices.
1 – Karakr and Dodkash coal mines:
Located 15 kilometres northeast of Pul-i-Khumri city, these two mines were detected by a shepherd back in 1938 and today they are considered one of the biggest coalmines of the country.
In 1971, the mine was upgraded and in 1987 its production soared to 165,000 tons but against its production decreased to 10,000 tons in 1991.
Karkar mine is estimated to have 15 million tons of coals; with its layer thickness is three metres. It’s is declared excellent coal for use.
Its geographic location and proximity to Kabul-Kunduz highway and Pul-i-Khumri industrial centres, contributed to the mine’s importance.
With depth of Karkar mine reaches to 750 metres, about 600 manpower is working in these mines and 150 tons of coal is being exploited from it on daily.
Exploitation process of coal from the mines is not as per the needed standard with its tunnels are not meeting the standard measures.
But Ministry of Mines and Petroleum officials said construction work on one of the tunnel of Karkar mine is underway, adding daily coal extraction would reach to 250 tons once construction work of the tunnel is completed.
The tunnel “P-1” is being constructing by a private Afghan-Coal company.
Eng. Abdul Latif Wahabzai, Karkar coalmine head, said the tunnel was usable in the past but unfortunately it had been in dilapidated condition following soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
Started in March, 2013, almost 90 percent construction work of the tunnel has been completed, which was set to be inaugurated ahead of this winter, he pledged.
Having 200 metres depth and 600 metres length, more than one million afghanis had so far spent on construction of the facility.
The Afghan-Coal company had inked a 49-year contract in 2006 with the government to Benchmark Karkar, Ahan Dara and Dodkash coalmines, with mostly the coal was extracted for Ghori Cement Factory, which is said to produce 200 tons of cement daily.
2 – Ahan Dara and Khurd Dara coal mines:
These mines are located about five kilometres east of Pul-i-Khumri city. Extraction process of coal from the mines had been initiated in 1999 and still underway.
3 – Chinarak and Shin Dara coal mines:
These mines are located 75 kilometres east of the provincial capital in Nahrin district. The mines had been detected in 2001 and come under the framework of North Coal Enterprise in the years between 2007 and 2012.
Extraction process of coal from the mines was given to Hashimy Group of company for ten years under a bidding process in 2012.
4 – Alogak coal mines:
Located 120 kilometres of the capital city of Pul-i-Khumri in Deh Salah district and leased by Bradarane Mohmand Shamal Company for ten years in 2008.
However, illegal extraction of coal continues on the mine as the company canceled the contract due to geological and security problems in 2011.
5 – Tala Wa Barfak coal mines:
Located 110 kilometres southwest of Pul-i-Khumri city in Tala Wa Barfak district, coal extraction from this mine continues since its inclusion in north coal enterprise in 2007.
It shares border with Kahmard district of central Bamyan province, while Kahmard district also comprised similar rich resources of coal.
6 – Gold mine:
Located 80 kilometres southwest of the provincial capital in Doshi district, Qara Zakhan gold mine is detected in years between 1992 and 1995. However, the survey of the mine is still underway by a company over the past three years.
7 – Plumbum or lead mine:
Known as Sheikh Safid, the mine is located 80 kilometres northeast of Pul-i-Khumryicity in Jalga district.
8 – Batch mine:
This mine is located 54 kilometres of the provincial capital in Sheikh Jalal area of Baghlan-i-Markazi district.
9 – Granite mine:
Located 90 kilometres south of Pul-i-Khumri city in Khinjan district, this mine is detected by locals in 2013. However, extraction of the mine is recently leased by a private company.