Talks on Hajigak project with Indian firm ongoing

KABUL (PAN): A Ministry of Mines and Petroleum official on Wednesday said talks with Indian officials on the Hajigak iron ore mine project were underway and many issues had been resolved during the parleys.

Mohammad Rafi Rafiq Saddique, the ministry spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News Afghanistan and the Indian consortium, a group of six Indian companies the Afghan Iron and Steel Consortium led by Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) had agreed on many issues.

But issues concerning transportation and few others remained unresolved and would be addressed in the near future, he said.

Media reports in November said the Indian group might slash investment in the iron ore mine to almost an eighth of its original plan amid rising security risks

The group was said to be considering cutting its initial outlay for the Hajigak project to $1.5 billion from $11 billion

The mountain ridges 100 km west of Kabul are estimated to hold 1.8 billion tonnes of ore. The Cabinet in 2011 awarded the rights to mine three out of four blocks to the group.

The group now plans to build a steel mill that can produce 1.5 million tonnes a year, one-fourth of the earlier plan, which will cater to Afghanistan’s domestic demand.


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