China plans to destroy an ancient Buddhist city to get the copper buried there – by Mariam Amini (CNBC News – February 1, 2017)

Two Chinese state-owned mining companies plan to destroy an ancient Buddhist city in Afghanistan in order to get the copper underneath it, according to a new documentary

According to the film “Saving Mes Aynak,” Metallurgical Group Corp. (MCC) and Jiangxi Copper are in the initial stages of building an open-pit copper mine 25 miles southeast of Kabul. The location is home to a walled Buddhist city that dates back 5,000 years.

According to the Afghan Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, the site is also home to the world’s second-largest copper deposit. China is an importer of copper and a major global refiner of the industrial metal.

In 2007, under the administration of President Hamid Karzai, MCC agreed to pay Afghanistan $3 billion to lease the Mes Aynak area for 30 years.

MCC plans to extract over $100 billion worth of copper deposited directly beneath the Buddhist city, according to the documentary. Archaeologists are trying to save the site. A spokesman for Afghanistan’s Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, Zabih Sarwari, told CNBC that the project is slated to start after the completion of a feasibility study.

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