President orders natural resource development


KABUL (Pajhwok): President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Sunday linked the country’s economic prosperity to exploitation of Afghanistan’s rich mining sector, asking the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum to accelerate efforts to develop it on a war footing.

He said this during his visit to the ministry’s building to observe its working condition, a statement from the Presidential Palace said.

The president stressed the need for the Ministry Of Mines not only to concentrate on best performance but also strive to develop the natural resources of the country.

Katawaz crude oil excavation underlined


Kabul (Pajhwok): Economic experts believe that extraction of Katawaz crude oil in southeastern Paktika province will help strengthen the economy of the country.

Initially started in 1970, the exploration of Katawaz crude oil reserves had to be postponed due to uncertainty in the country. The deposits were discovered during Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan’s government.

Some areas of Sharan, the provincial capital, Yousafkhel, Yahyakhel, Zarghoon Shahr, Janikhel, Khushamand, Wazakhwa and Tarwa district are parts of the Katawaz region of Paktika.

Amu River basin contract seen detrimental for Afghanistan


KABUL (Pajhwok): The mining sector analysts and officials believe the contract for extracting crude oil from Amu River basin is inked in disregard to international standards, which is not in Afghanistan’s interests.

Covering parts of Faryab, Sar-i-Pul and Jawzjan provinces, Amu River basin is one of the country sixth basins, possessing around 80 million barrels of crude oil, according to surveys conducted by the Swedish experts 84 years back.  

Pajhwok holds first conference on Afghan mining

KABUL (Pajhwok):  Pajhwok Afghan News (PAN) on Sunday held its first investigative conference on mining in Afghanistan, highlighting six basic problems crippling the sector.

The news agency expressed its concerns about illegal mineral extractions and smuggling of the riches in a year-long investigation report released at an academic gathering in Kabul.

Badakhshan clash being investigated

FAIZABAD (Pajhwok): The Interior Ministry has launched an investigation into the killing of five policemen in a clash with armed men loyal to an illegal commander over the control of azure mines in northeastern Badakhshan province, an official said on Wednesday.

Badakhshan police spokesperson Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai told Pajhwok News that the Yamgan district police chief, Abdul Zahir Mujaddedi, and azure mines security guards commander, Assadullah, a day earlier tried to gain control of a portion of the mines from the illegal commander in Kiran wa Manjan district.

Insecurity hurdle to investment: mines minister


KABUL (Pajhwok): Rejecting corruption in contracts, Mines Minister Mohammad Akbar Barakzai on Sunday said insecurity had blocked investments by foreign firms to develop the sector.

He was testifying before the Meshrano Jirga after being summoned to brief lawmakers about the situation of mining activities in the country.

New mining law yet to be published

KABUL (Pajhwok): The new mining law was endorsed by former president Hamid Karzai about three months ago, but the Ministry of Justice (MJ) is yet to publish it in the official gazette.

The draft law was first tabled in the parliament on Aug 9 and later approved and sent to the then president for signing.

The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) has welcomed singing into law the bill by the former president, saying the new law would help attract investment. 

Some experts say the delay in the law’s publication kept the people uninformed.

Samangan miners risk lives in gold rush


AIBAK (Pajhwok): Teen-aged boys have a distinct advantage over the older miners of Dara-e-Sauf, a coal-rich area in northern Samangan province. Burrowed into the foothills of the Hindu Kush is a vast network of dark, narrow shafts running as deep as 1.7 kilometers.

One must be of medium height to access their veins of "black gold," as the locals call it, without having to crouch. The mine's proprietor, a private businessman, prefers workers like Hassan, 13, over taller and stronger men.

Mining sector needs better husbandry


KABUL (Pajhwok): Experts and economists believe the mining sector needs better management to stand on its own feet but the goal seems impossible for the new government to achieve during its five-year tenure.

The two leading candidates in the presidential elections, who have now formed a national unity government, had held out promises to the nation about utilising the country’s mineral wealth in the lead-up to the runoff race on June 14.

"CASA-1000 to leave positive impacts on security"

KABUL (Pajhwok): Leading economy experts have expressed optimism about the electricity transfer agreement CASA-1000 signed between Afghanistan and Pakistan on Sunday.

The Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project, known as CASA-1000, is aimed at transferring 1300 mega watt of electricity from the central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan via Tajikistan to Afghanistan and onwards to Pakistan. Afghanistan is set to receive 300 MW while Pakistani would get a bulk of 1000 MW.


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