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.

Illicit miners yet to be prosecuted


KABUL (Pajhwok): The list of companies and individuals involved in the illegal extraction of mines was released a year back, but the ministry concerned is yet to send it to Attorney General Office (AGO), officials said on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum released the list of 1,400 individuals and firms unlawfully extracting the mineral wealth, which it said had been shared with judicial organs as well.

Chinarak coalmine extraction underway amid unclear contract


KABUL (Pajhwok): Despite the fact that the contract was signed with Afghan company one year ago, the findings of Pajhwok Afghan News show local groups continue extracting the Chinarak coalmine illegally in northern Baghlan province.

The rich mine is located between Nahrain and Barfak districts of the province.

In January 2012, the Ministry of Mine contracted the mine with Hashimi Group Co.--- an Afghan Company--- for ten years. The company invested four million dollars on the mine and paid 1,150 afghanis for each ton to the government.

Watchdog slams mining law as full of errors


KABUL (Pajhwok): The Civil Society Natural Resources Monitoring Network (CSNRMN) on Saturday warned if President Karzai issued a legislative decree to enforce the new draft mining law currently being debated in Parliament; it would benefit only a handful of companies and individuals.

The network, which represents around 40 civil society groups, said the existing mining law had many problems and shortcomings.

Illegal coal mining continues unchecked


MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): Residents have been illegally mining coalfields in northern Samangan province, officials said on Thursday.

In Dara-i-Sauf Payan district, a coalmine in Gola area is illegally dug up by local residents, the district chief, Humayun, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

“Common people are benefiting from that coalmine. Residents take home coal from the field for domestic use and we have been able to prevent its sale in the market,” the official said.

US urges Afghanistan to open economy, tackle graft

KABUL (PAN): A senior American official urged Afghanistan to open up its economy and eliminate nagging corruption to entice companies from the United States to invest in the mineral-rich Afghanistan and to woo more foreign direct investments from around the globe.

Speaking to Pajhwok Afghan News in an exclusive interview in Kabul, Robert O. Blake, Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, said American companies were not shying away from Afghanistan but were making their own strategic decision whether to invest.

Power factories to receive funds

BALKH, June 13, 2011: Minister of Mines Waheedullah Sharani, US Ambassador to Afghanistan W. Karl Eikenberry, and the head of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) promise $65 million for power factories in the province.

The funds are earmarked for power production and upgrading upgrading gas pipelines and wells in the province.

PAJHWOK/ Zameer Saar

Marble factories hard hit by imports

JALALABAD (PAN): Owners of marble factories in eastern Nangarhar province on Thursday complained their business was being adversely affected by inferior imports.

While seeking encouragement from the authorities concerned, they claimed the marble found in Sherzad district was among the best in the world, but the imports had a debilitating impact on the industry.


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