Takhar: Thousands sift gold from sand


TALOQAN (Pajhwok): Thousands of people in the capital of northern Takhar province are engaged in sifting and washing river sand in search of gold, workers said on Friday.

The business picks up in the winter when the level of water in the river falls, enabling 3,000 Khatyan residents to step up the activity. More often than not, they succeed in finding precious metal particles.

Abdul Karim, one of these individuals, has been involved in sifting sands for gold over the past three decades. He says people from other districts of the province also come here hunting for gold. 

Takhar gold mine contract seen as illegal


KABUL (Pajhwok): The contract for the Nuraba and Semti gold mines has been awarded on the basis of favoritism and in a non-transparent manner. The contractor has failed to pay taxes and adopt measures for protecting the environment, experts allege.

The gold mines are located in the Chahab district of northern Takhar province. The contracts were issued to the West Land General Trading Company (WLGTC) based on a 2008 mining draft law passed by the Council of Ministers. 

Shady contracts:

Illegal gold mining in Baghlan reported

KABUL (Pajhwok): An anti-corruption body in Afghanistan has alleged a local firm on Sunday for illegal gold mining in the country.

At a press conference in Kabul today the body held “Afghan Crystal” criminal for the illegal mining at the Qara Zghan gold mine in northern Baghlan province.

The speakers said that the firm was awarded an exploration contract by the former minister for Mines and Petrolium Waheedullah Shehrani in return of 50 million $ four years ago.

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.

Dilawari denies large shipments of gold to Dubai


KABUL (PAN): Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) Governor Noorullah Delawari on Monday denied large shipments of gold from the country to the Persian Gulf, rejecting fear about a new way of money laundering.

Earlier in the week, the New York Times reported roughly hewed bars of gold were being flown out of Kabul with increasing regularity. “Most of the gold is being carried on commercial flights destined for Dubai.”

25 firms to compete for gold, copper extraction


KABUL (PAN): Officials at the Ministry of Mines on Tuesday said 25 international companies would compete for the exploration and extraction of gold and copper from four reserves.

Mohammad Jawad Omar, a spokesman for the ministry, said the companies had been short-listed from among 41 international firms. They will compete for exploring Ghazni and Badakhshan gold mines, as well as Herat and Sar-i-Pul copper mines.

Kabul jewellers grumble about high taxes


KABUL (PAN): Huge taxes and lack of market for locally made jewellery have left the industry struggling in the capital, Kabul-based traders complain. But the Ministry of Finance says jewellers are taxed in line with the relevant law.

A decade ago, most of goldsmiths would make and repair jewellery using old methods, but now the art has considerably improved. While retaining their traditional brilliance, the artisans have embraced modernism.

Fuel, gold extraction agreements signed


KABUL (PAN): Private companies are set to embark on extracting fuel and gold in two northern provinces, a spokesman for the Ministry of Mines said on Tuesday.

Fuel extractions from Angot fields in Sar-i-Pul would earn impoverished Afghanistan one million US dollars a month, said Jawad Omar.

He added a six-month extraction agreement had been inked with a private investment organisation called Ghazanfar Group. The company will extract 800 barrels of fuel a day from four wells.

Most gold imports illegal


By Zainab Muhammadi May 12, 2010 - 17:10

KABUL (PAN): Nearly 2.5 tonnes of gold imported into Afghanistan each year but only 37 kilos of it went through custom procedures last year, jewellers said on Wednesday.

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