Ayaz Gul VOA News January 22, 2023 ISLAMABAD — Taliban authorities in Afghanistan have arrested five men, including two Chinese nationals, for allegedly trying to smuggle an estimated 1,000 metric tons of lithium-bearing rocks out of the country. The arrests and the seizure of the rocks were made in the eastern Afghan border city of Jalalabad.
8am: Speculations have mounted that China will seek dominance over Afghanistan’s mineral resources, particularly its lithium, gold and other rare-earth ore deposits, following the final US withdrawal from the country in August 2021. Local sources said on Thursday, January 12, that experts from two Chinese firms have visited Ghazni province for technical studies of lithium
Ariana: The US government spent nearly $1 billion to fund critical mineral surveys, mineral exploration, regulatory reforms and capacity development for the former Afghan government, according to the report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR. “US efforts in Afghanistan’s extractives industry presented one of the greatest opportunities for the Afghan government
Khaama: The area of this contract is estimated 4500 square kilometers, scattered in the country’s three northern provinces including Saripul, Jawzjan and Faryab. In the contract, it is stated that Afghanistan’s share is 20 percent at present, and it will reach up to 75 percent in the future. Click here to read more (external link).
Ariana: Chromite reserves, estimated at around 13,000 tons, have been found in Daman district of southern Kandahar province. Local officials said that exploration work is ongoing at the site of the mine. Click here to read more (external link).
LA Times: Jawed Noorani, an Afghan mining expert, estimated that the Taliban was collecting more than $1 billion a year in taxes on minerals. Mansfield said the regime has also doubled coal exports to Pakistan this year compared with the year before, taking advantage of a spike in prices because of the war in Ukraine.
Ariana: [Taliban] Afghan Ministry of Mines and Petroleum said this week that 250 domestic and foreign firms have submitted their bids for the iron mine in Herat and lead mine in Ghor province. Esmatullah Burhan, a spokesman for the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, said that it is evaluating the bids and will soon announce
Ariana: Speaking at a press conference as part of the new ministerial accountability program, Shahabuddin Delawar, acting minister of mines and petroleum, said that the ministry signed contracts for the extraction of 158 small mines over the past year. Click here to read more (external link).
8am: With the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, Pakistan has become Afghanistan’s most important natural resources market. Local sources in Takhar province say that hundreds of trucks carrying coal are being loaded and transported to Pakistan on daily basis from his province. According to sources, some Taliban officials and commanders are involved in the deal. Residents
Reuters: The hardline Islamist movement is now banking on its natural resources to survive. Landlocked Afghanistan has large mineral and fossil fuel deposits, most of them untapped. One Pakistani official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Pakistan had increased coal imports from Afghanistan and could be importing up to 500,000 tonnes per month. Click here