Nuristan (PAN): The mountainous eastern Nuristan province has large scale reservoirs of natural mines containing precious and semi precious stones.
For the purpose to explore and exploit the underground reserves, the department of mines started functioning right after its establishment in 2013 in Nuristan.
Following are details of existing precious stones in the valleys and mountains of Nuristan.
Biroch and SofahBiroch:
The mines of the precious Birochstones existelsewhere in Nuristan but the areas of Parun, DuAb, Wama, Paeen and Kolin are blessed with extra ordinary natural resources of Biroch.
Du Ab District:
Four mines of Biroch and Biroch Sofa precious stones have been identified in Du Ab district. Without government authorization, locals with the help of businessmen have been extracting mines of precious stones since four years amounting to more than 5 million afghanis.
A large amount of precious stones exists in Parun, the provincial capital which are as follow:
A- Astawimines: The government has started demining of six known mines of Biroch and SofiBiroch stones in Astawi area of Parun.
B- Frons mines: Seven more mines of Biroch and SofiBiroch have been discovered in Frons area of Parun, however, reports did not show whether the demining process is being out through legal or illegal ways.
C- Diwahmines: The Diwah area of provincial capital has four mines of Biroch and BirochSofi stones and its extraction is being done by the government.
D- Koshtkimines: Almost 10 mines of precious stones were unearthed in Koshtki area of Parun, however, locals are extracting mines without going through legal formalities who later smuggle the stones abroad.
E- Sosommines: The Sosom area is also rich in mines of precious stones. The mines and petroleum department of Nuristan have generated 600,000 afghanis revenue during the current year.
F- Paishki mines: Four mines were identified in Paishkilocality of Parun. The extraction of one of its largest mine started last year, however, it could not be ascertained whether the extraction is being carried out through legal ways.
3- Want Waygal:
As many as five mines of Biroch and BirochSofa are identified in Want Waygal district of the province. Locals are being busy extracting the mine in illegal and nonprofessional ways who smuggle the reserves onward.
A- Watoz: Underground reserves of Biroch and other precious stones are found in Watoz and Kishton areas of Want Waygal. Its extraction is underway by the local groups.
Moreover, several old and new mines of natural resources are discovered in Kistrigal, Nisto and Mani areas of the Want Waygal district.
4- Kamdishdistrict: Kamdish district of the province is rich in natural mines of Biroch and BirochSofah stones. The government has strictly banned its illegal extraction and smuggling.
Following is the detail of mines in Kamdish district.
A- Paprokmines: One of the largest mines of the province, nonprofessional and illegal extraction of the Paprok mine is underway for the last 12 years. Just recently, the government has banned its demining.
B- Nichigalmines: Known one of the largest natural reserves of Biroch in the world, Nichigal mine was discovered during SardarDawood Khan Regimeby then Russian experts; however, the Russians had to ban its demining.
5- Wamadistrict: Survey could not be conducted officially to identify the existence of natural mines in Wamma district. However, the district is said to have abundant in Biroch and other precious stones.
Unfortunately, local groups have been extracting the mines illegally and the government has yet to take any action.
6- Nangrajdistrict: The Nangraj district of the province has widespread mines of precious stones including Biroch. Its extraction is underway.
The province has a number of other natural resources but its locations are yet to be identified.
Emerald is among the precious stones in the world which can be found in abundant in Nuristan. The extraction of emerald required special kind of expertise and professional skill that’s why its extraction does not take place in large scale.
The emerald stones are found in Parun, the capital of Nuristan and some districts such as Paishki, Nangraj, Want Waygal, Kishton.
The natural ruby reserve is found in large number in Parun, the provincial capital and Du Ab, and Wama districts of Nuristan province. Meanwhile, the demining of some mines is underway.
Nilam and AnarDana:
These stones are named AnarDana because its shape matches with the grain of pomegranate which means Anar Dana in Pashto language.
Little information is available about the natural resources of Nuristan province due to government lack of attention.
Also, authorities have failed to stop illegal demining and smuggling of precious stone from Nuristan which left negative impact on government revenue.
The reserves of Anar Dana can be found in Nangraj district of the province. Local groups have been illegally extracting the reservoirs which are then being smuggled to foreign countries.
In addition, the province has large scale hidden reservoirs which need to be explored and exploited. The government is also needed to adopt stringent measures to stop its illegal extraction.