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Badakhshan mining revenue zeroes from 70m afs

Badakhshan mining revenue zeroes from 70m afs

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Dec 23, 2019 - 18:20

FAIZABAD (Pajhwok): Local officials say 36 mines of precious stones have been identified in northeastern Badakhshan province and some of them would generate up to 70 million afghanis revenue annually but the income has been zero for the last five years.

According to Pajhwok Afghan News report, the mines of azure stone are found in abundant in Keran wa Menjan district and ruby deposits in Ishkashim and Khash districts, biruch in Garm, gold in Kohistan and Raghistan and coal in Argu district are major natural resources in the province.

Haidar Shah, Badakhshan mines department acting head, told Pajhwok that lapis lazuli mine in Karan wa Menjan district, gold mine in Raghistan and gold washing and recovery from two major mines in Badakhshan generated up to 70 million afghanis in annual revenue until 2013; but currently the income has been zero.

“All contracts of the mines were cancelled as per decision of the National Security Council and Ministry of Mines and Petroleum in 2013, no new contract has so far signed,” he said.

He cited insecurity as another factor behind the zero revenue as some minerals were located in areas under Talibaninfo-icon control.

Shah said, “The gold mines in Raghistan and Kohistan districts are currently under the Taliban control, which are extracted unprofessionally by individuals.”

Meanwhile, Hamayon, manager of contracts at the mines department in Badakhshan, said so far 36 mines have been surveyed and sampled and 16 of them mines were contracted in past years. He said the contracts were later cancelled due to insecurity in the areas.

He did not provide information about the exact locations of the mines, but said, “If we reveal more details, local commanders or Taliban may try to find them and extract them.”

Lapis lazuli mine in Karanwa Menjan district had been under Taliban control for many years but recently Afghan security forces drove them away, he said. He said no mines were currently not under extraction process.

Hamayon said it was due to insecurity that irresponsible men extracted mines and district officials had m admitted during several meetings that they were unable to prevent illegal mining due to insecurity.

The security of these mines would not be ensured until officials from the central government took action, he added.

Badakhshan residents want their mines extracted

Marina, a resident of Karan wa Manjan district said, “There is a lapis lazuli mine in our area which contains most high quality of lapis lazuli, illegal armed commanders are extracting them for years.”

She said those benefiting from the mines had good livelihood while others in the area were in bad economic situation.

“We want the government to legally extract the mines so all people get benefit of them,” Marina said.

Farzad Ahmadi, an economy lecturer in Badakhshan University, said that 60 percent of Badakhshan residents were living in poor economic situation while there were 41 of different mineral sources in the province.

He said if the government extracted mines based on standard processes it could help increase revenue and local people’s economic situation as well as generate jobs for hundreds of people.

Mds/ma

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