News Coverage

Draft mining law parts to be debated again

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Wolesi Jirga on Wednesday decided the joint lower house commission would debate again a new draft mining law before it was placed before the general session for approval.

The existing mining law containing 12 chapters and 105 articles was approved on November 18, 2008 by a joint parliamentary commission before being signed by the president.

2 coalminers asphyxiated to death

PUL-I-KHUMRI (Pajhwok): Two people were killed and a third became unconscious after inhaling the carbon monoxide gas inside a coal mine in northern Baghlan province, an official said on Tuesday.

Abdul SattarAtif, the Nahrain district chief, told Pajhwok Afghan News the three men were excavating coal from the Chinarak Mine when the incident occurred. The dead were brothers.

Eng. Abdur Rahman Afghan, coal enterprise head in the north, said the Ministry of Mine and Petroleum was duty-bound to take necessary measure for the protection of workers.

Illegal, non-professional excavation of a mine in Chilan valley underway

KABUL (Pajhwok): Illegal and non-professional excavation of a mine site, without the knowledge of what kinds of reserves the mine contain, in the Chilan valley on the outskirts of Gorband district in central Parwan province, has been underway for the last one year, an official said.

Other districts such as Syagard, SurkhParsa and Shinwari were located close to the Ghorband valley where militants have greater sway.

New maps to help exploit mines: minister

KABUL (Pajhwok): Mines Minister Mohammad Akbar Barakzai on Monday said recent geological surveys and maps by the US Geological Survey to locate and identify Afghanistan’s myriad rich mineral deposits would help attract investments in the sector.

Barakzai, who examined the results of a "hyperspectral imaging" and surveys during a recent visit to the US, told Pajhwok these maps could help know size and variety of Afghanistan's mineral wealth and position

Excavation work on 50 Samangan coalmine tunnels halted

AIBAK (Pajhwok): Excavation work on 50 coalmine tunnels of Dara-e-Suf in northern Samangan province have been halted because of looming threat to workers’ lives, officials said Wednesday.

The tunnels were dug by unskilled individuals, which posed great threat to workers working there, Ahmad Ali Hussaini, district administrative chief, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

He said the decision to stop work on the mine was made after technical and professional engineers conducted a survey of the tunnels. The survey said the tunnel could collapse any time.

Afghanistan likely to get EITI membership this year

 KABUL (Pajhwok): Officials of Afghanistan Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (AEITI) informed on Thursday they were striving hard to get membership of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) this year.

It merits mention that the EITI is an international standard body that ensures transparency around countries’ oil, gas and mineral resources.

Mirwais Sara, head of AEITI, said the purpose behind AEITI was to ensure transparency in the vital mining sector of the country, saying that the organization was working solely independently.

Sabzak coal mine agreement violated: Public reps

KABUL (Pajhwok): Illegal excavation of the Sabzak coalmine in western Herat province has been inflicting a loss of millions of afghanis on the national exchequer annually, lawmakers and provincial council members allege.

Public representatives from the province claim residents had serious reservations about government’s decision to award a contract for the mine to the Khoshak Company.

The contract was signed between Ibrahim Adil, former minister of mines and petroleum, and Didar Ali, head of the Khoshak Company, in September 2006. Its validity period is a decade.

Future of Afghanistan gold reservoirs at stake:

KABUL (Pajhwok): Though Afghanistan’s gold reserves have neither explored nor excavated, rumors circulate as many as 2,000 kilograms of gold has been illegally extracted and subsequently smuggled outside the country daily.

According to Mining and Petroleum Ministry and other independent sources, Afghanistan has seven known main gold mines including the Ragh or Wikador gold mine in Badakhshan, Hisarak in Logar, Kondlan in Zabul and GarahZghan gold mine in Baghlan provinces.

Hyperspectral imaging: Afghanistan almost mapped

WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): A coalition of scientists from the US and Afghanistan Monday released 60 high-tech maps that will help chart a course for future economic development, officials from the two countries said. 

With the release of these maps, Afghanistan has become the first country to be almost completely mapped using hyperspectral imaging data. “These maps would go a long way in unleashing the economic potential of the country’s rich natural resources, minerals and hydrocarbons,” said Mohd Akbar Barakzai, the Minister of Mines and Petroleum.

Kapisa luminous stone mining to resume

MAHMOOD RAQI (Pajhwok): Extraction work on a luminous stone mine in central Kapisa province, suspended due to cold weather, will start in the near future, officials say.

Mining Director Eng. Kamal told Pajhwok Afghan News an excavation contract had been awarded to a local company that would dig up 1,000 tonnes of the natural stone annually. Valid for three years, the contract is for the mine in Najrab district.

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