Domestic Economy

Afghanistan Vying to Export Coal to Iran in Near Future

Afghanistan Vying to Export Coal to Iran in Near Future
Afghanistan Vying to Export Coal to Iran in Near Future

Kabul will sign a contract with Tehran to export coal in the near future, Afghanistan’s industry and commerce minister said.
Speaking to ArianaNews, Nooruddin Azizi added that much progress has been made in the negotiations for exporting coal to Iran, adding that they are trying to expand the volume of exports so that Afghanistan’s trade balance becomes equal.
“We are in contact with Iran and the country is eager to import coal from Afghanistan,” he said, noting that Iran needs coal for its iron ore plants.
Azizi also said that all exports of the country, including coal, are done in accordance with the prices of the international market, and that there is no reason to worry in this regard.
Iran will initiate mining in Afghanistan’s Ghor Province within a month, local officials were quoted as saying by Fars News Agency earlier.
An Iranian company has signed contracts to start mining for lead and zinc in Ghor, the report added.
Ebrahim Jamili, the head of the Mines and Mining Industry Commission of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, says Iran’s private sector is planning to invest in the mines of Afghanistan, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan.
“We might need to transfer technology to these countries and, in return, meet our domestic needs for minerals from these mines,” he said.
A memorandum of understanding on exploration and exploitation of Afghanistan’s mines and mineral exports was signed between Iran and Afghanistan in 2016.
Afghanistan is home to over 1,400 mineral fields containing copper, gold, iron ore, lead, sulfur and zinc, as well as high-quality gemstones such as emerald, lapis lazuli, red garnet and ruby.
It is believed that the country holds $1 billion in untapped mineral deposits, according to USGS reports. 
The best known and largest iron ore deposit in Afghanistan is located at Hajigak in Bamyan Province. It is also among the world's biggest untapped iron ore deposits.  
Hajigak Iron Ore Mine is estimated to possess nearly 2 million tons of iron ore with approximately 62% purity, with 16 ore bodies extending for up to 3 kilometers. The mine is amenable to open pitting, with the added bonus that the nearby Shabashak Coal Mine providing an opportunity for the establishment of an integrated iron and steel plant.
Afghanistan is also home to one of the world's largest copper reserves. The Mes Aynak Copper Mine, located in the Afghan Logar Province, is the world's second largest copper reserve. 
The Afghan Mining Ministry estimates that the mine holds some 6 million tons of copper. 

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