Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

‘No Progress’ on Expansion of Key Mines in Afghanistan

‘No Progress’  on Expansion of Key Mines in Afghanistan

KABUL - The Natural Resources Monitoring Network says government should take steps to improve mining projects in the country.
The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) said the government is currently assessing Karkar, Dodkash mines and the Ghori cement factory to establish how it could improve operations of these mines.
The MoMP will submit its report to the high economic council once the assessment on the mines is wrapped up, said Abdul Qadeer Mutfi, spokesman for the ministry.
Officials of the Natural Resources Monitoring Network (NRMN) have expressed deep concerns about conditions at mines in the country, calling on the government to take steps towards improving the situation.
The contract for the Dodkash coal mine and Ghori cement factory had been signed with a private company eight years ago. However, the government later terminated the contract with the company over violations.
According to ministry of mines and petroleum technical teams from the ministry of mines and petroleum are currently trying to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the mines to establish the scale of financial losses and then it will submit its report to the high economic council
“The requirements set by the ministry of mines and petroleum in the contracts have to be met. If the requirements are not met over certain issues, then there is a legal procedure to be followed. Our technical and economic teams then work to find out the extent of the financial loss and other aspects. The report is then prepared,” said Mutfi. 
There are concerns that illegal extraction is still underway at these mines due to the absence of a government presence in the regions where the mines are located.
NRMN officials have said that the contracts for these mines had been signed in a transparent manner. The NRMN added that the government had not accessed the mines due to security issues.
“Unfortunately, during this period, coal has been extracted illegally by the local lawbreakers,” said Ibrahim Jaffari, a member NRMN.

According to MoMP the contracts of 14 small and big mines have been terminated due to problems with the contracts. They called on the government to take steps and ensure transparency at the affected mines. (Tolonews)