New maps to help exploit mines: minister
KABUL (Pajhwok): Mines Minister Mohammad Akbar Barakzai on Monday said recent geological surveys and maps by the US Geological Survey to locate and identify Afghanistan’s myriad rich mineral deposits would help attract investments in the sector.
Barakzai, who examined the results of a "hyperspectral imaging" and surveys during a recent visit to the US, told Pajhwok these maps could help know size and variety of Afghanistan's mineral wealth and position
He said the value of these maps and surveys stood at $20 million and information about the surveys would be made available on the Internet.
Mines Ministry spokesman Mohammad Rafi said due to a lack of funds and technical facilities, Afghanistan could not conduct such surveys alone. He said Afghanistan direly needed such surveys in order to attract investment in the mining sector.
Foreign affairs in-charge with the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Azrak Hafizi, said most of the recent overtures had been done by USGS and the British geological survey in the country.
The two geological institutions were able to entirely study natural resources in Afghanistan and map them, he added.
However, Eng. Abdul Ghafar, an official of the geological department at the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, said maps and surveys conducted by the USA were important. He said the Americans had previously might got help from surveys conducted by the Soviet Union did in 1974.
Amir Mohammad Musa, the geology faculty dean at Kabul University, said the new surveys and maps would be beneficial if they were authentic.
He claimed the Soviets had never carried out authentic and useful studies of Afghan mineral deposits and records of their work did not exist in the archive of the mines ministry because the Russians had taken them back home.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.