Work on Ainak mine project going well: China


PUL-I-ALAM (PAN): An official of China's Metallurgical Group Corporation (MCC) said on Saturday said around $360 million had been invested in the Ainak copper mine so far and the company would never abandon the project.

In the history of Afghanistan’s mining sector, the largest contract for the development of the Ainak Mine in central Logar province was inked with the MCC on May 25, 2008.

The company has pledged $2.9 billion investment over five years. Leu, the MCC official, held out the assurance at a gathering, attended by officials of Ministries of Mines and Industries, Logar governor and other officials.

He scotched rumours that the project was headed for failure. Some media outlets recently suggested a downward trend in copper prices in the international market would lead to failure of the project.

There were some security problems in the past as well as during the current year, but law and order had considerably improved and the issues had been tackled, he explained.

Practical work would be initiated once the extraction process was launched, he said, adding they were working to address technical problems.

He said research and other activities were showing progress. A survey for laying a railway track has also been completed. Work on the railroad would be launched soon, he promised.

Deputy Minister of Mines Eng. Nasir Ahmad Durrani called the copper mine was a national asset and a successful project involving a colossal cost.

He also spurned reports about the project’s failure, insisting it was being implemented effectively. Afghan and Chinese governments would never allow the scheme’s collapse, he vowed.

The main reason behind a halt to work on the mega project was the presence of historical monuments and landmines in the area, explained the deputy minister, who said so far 230 historical objects had been extracted and a huge area cleared of mines.

All possible security measures had been taken around the project site, where the interior ministry had deployed a 1,700-member Special Police Force to guard a 10 kilometre area.

According to him, the land acquisition issue had also been addressed, with local people accepting cash and residential plots in return for their land.

Governor Amir Mohammad Niazi said the MCC would supply the project 400 megawatts of power and another 200 mw to the Logar industrial park.

He said the people, government and the Chinese company would strive to make the project a success.

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