AIBAK (Pajhwok): The northern Samangan province--- situated on the strategic Kabul-Balkh highway--- is one of the most important provinces of Afghanistan as far as the natural resources are concerned.
Samangan is rich in natural mines of coal, marbles, stucco, cements and other kinds of reservoirs.
The upper and lower Souf valleys are abundant in mines of natural resources but those are being illegally extracted by local groups.
The mines are located in upper Souf and lower Souf valleys and Duab districts.
Shabashak coal mine:
The Shabashak coal mine is situated 140 kilometres to the west of upper Souf valley.
The mine was discovered by locals back in 1967. The site was latter surveyed in 1966 by the government of Afghanistan with collaboration of the government of Germany and Soviet Union.
Dahna Tor coal mine:
The Dahna Tor and Shabashak coal mines were surveyed and discovered simultaneously. As many as 200 sites are leased to locals companies by the government.
The two mines produce 30,000 tons of coal daily where 2,000 labour are working. According to the provincial mines department, the annual revenue generated from these coal mines surges to 615,000 billion afghanis.
Garmak Gharbi coal mine:
The mine is located 150 kilometres to the west of Upper Souf valley which is 150 kilometres away from the provincial capital.
Garmak Sharqi coal mine:
The Garmak mine is situated 110 kilometres away to the east of provincial capital in upper Souf valley district.
Rasha coal mine:
The Rashi coal mine is situated to the west of Souf valley district at a distance of 130 kilometres from Aibak, the provincial capital.
The mines are recently discovered by the locals and the government has awarded its contract to private companies.
Officials do not have information about the volume of coal mines.
Stucco mines exist in Sher Peer area, which is situated 50 kilometres to the east of provincial capital. However, the government did not conduct survey about stucco reservoirs in the mines.
Several local groups have been working extracting mines without any government authorization.
The marble mines are situated Khirskhana Mountain some 35 kilometres toward the east of Aibak city, the provincial capital.
The mine has been discovered by locals in 2002 but the government could not initiate any survey to know the volume of the mine.
The cement mines are located ten kilometres to the northeast of Aibak city.
The mine was discovered in 2011 on the outskirts of the provincial capital between Rabatak and Nazarcha hill. Around 13 billion tons of cement estimated in the mine.