TALOQAN (PAN): The northwestern Takhar province has an estimated 46 different mines containing natural reserves and resources which will considerably bolster national economy if they are extracted in a professional and legal ways.
As many as 1, 500 employees are working on different mines elsewhere in the province.
Geological surveys and researches have taken place many times in the province but practical work on exploiting the resources would yet take place.
The natural mines are located in Chah-e-Aab, Kalifgan, Namak Aab, Chal, Bang and Worsaj districts. Among them, salt mine in Taqcha Khana area of Namak Aab district, gold in Chah Aab and coal in Bazhghar area of Chal district and Gazistan area of Kalifgan district are identified to be in abundant.
Salt mines are located in Lata Band, Qorghsai and Archa Kotal areas of Kalifgan district. Also, salt mines in Taqcha khana area of Namak Aab district, gold mine in Norabah and Samti areas of Chah Aab district, and coal mine in Gaziztan area of Kalifgan district have been contracted which are being extracted.
In the past, Taqcha Khana salt mine was extracted in a nonprofessional and nontechnical way. However, after 2005, the mine contract has been awarded to a local company and the extraction is going through a legal way.
Takhar mine department said contract with previous domestic company was terminated due to its little extraction capacity two months ago. It said that the contract had been awarded to another local company which increased its production capacity.
The company has 400 strong workforces who are working extracting 100 to 150 tons of salt daily.
The company's production equipment has been imported from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the salt is mined and produced technically.
It is estimated that the income of Taqcha Khana and Kalifgan salt mines and construction materials was about 9 million afghanis this year.
Takhar public health department said they had persuaded the private sector to establish a factory producing iodized salt four years ago which had now been established three years ago.
The public health department provided the factory with iodine free of cost and the factory produce iodized salt for the people, which is good for health.
In addition, there are other mines in Takhar as well, including Kalifghan salt mine and gold mine of Chah Aab district beside the Kokcha River. Takhar
- Gold mine in Chah Aab district:
The mine is located 10 km north of Chah Aab district and discovered in 1987 by Soviet Union estimating 260 tons gold.
The mine was contracted with an American company in 2007. Now it is being extracted and three Russian engineers including more than 100 Afghan workers have been working on the mine.
- Taqcha Khana salt mine:
The mine is located in Namak Aab district and it was discovered two thousand years before Silk Road had been constructed. But in 1970, it was discovered twice and its extraction is underway.
- Silver mine:
The mine is located in Rustaq district but its amount could not be estimated.
- Emerald and Abrak stone:
The two mines are located in Eshkamish district and the extraction process could not be started yet.
- Petroleum mine:
Petroleum has been identified in Baharak district but a proper survey yet to be done.
Big oil well likely to be discovered in Mavaray-e-Kokcha district, which is located on the border with Tajikistan.
Other mines in Takahar:
As Takhar is considered among the second grade provinces of Afghanistan and is rich in natural resources such as petroleum, salt, coal, gold, sulfur, Iron and others. Most of the underground resources could not be discovered or exploited yet.
As many as 1, 500 workers are estimated working in various companies working in the province with getting salaries ranging from 10,000 to 25,000 Afghanis.