The Taliban say they have signed mining contracts worth $6.5 billion in Afghanistan (Associated Press – August 31, 2023)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban government said it signed seven mining contracts Thursday amounting to $6.5 billion in investment, in the biggest such round of deals since seizing power two years ago.

The seven contracts are with locally based companies, many of whom have foreign partners in countries including China, Iran, and Turkey. They include the extraction and processing of iron ore, lead, zinc and gold in four provinces: Herat, Ghor, Logar and Takhar.

A statement on the contracts from Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Abdul Ghani Baradar Akhund gave few details, but said they would create thousands of jobs and significantly improve the economic situation of the country.

Any figures given for the deals could be misleading unless they lead to fully realized mining operations on the ground, which could take years, said Javed Noorani, an expert in Afghanistan’s mining sector.

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