Afghanistan Opens New Mining Areas to International Investment
Ministry of Mines and Petroleum Announces 14 New Projects for Tender
Dubai, UAE: 15 April 2019 – In a keynote address at the Afghanistan Mining Investment Forum convened by INVEST, a global initiative of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to mobilize private investment in partner countries, H.E. Minister of Mines and Petroleum Nargis Nehan announced 43 new large and small-scale mining projects available for private sector investment and development. The projects span a number of commodities and are situated in 16 of the country’s 34 provinces. After anticipated tendering, an estimated $100 million will likely be spent on initial assessments, exploration and evaluation work for these projects over the next 12 months with investments increasing significantly in following years as projects advance. Tenders will cover a wide range of commodities including oil and gas, gemstones, copper, gold, marble, and talc.
Minister Nehan highlighted 14 new opportunities open to international investors in her remarks:
“For the first time ever, Afghanistan is opening opportunities for international investors to bid on ruby, emerald and lapis lazuli projects. Many of the commodities, such as marble, travertine and cement, selected for tenders have strong domestic and regional market demand. Others, such as gold, copper talc, iron ore, marble and oil and gas have established international markets.
Our government has worked hard to put in place a new Minerals Law and transparent regulations and procedures for investors to take advantage of these new opportunities, and I am proud to say that Afghanistan’s mining sector is ‘open for business.’”
Due to a previous investor-unfriendly Minerals Law, there has been negligible mineral exploration in Afghanistan for the past decade at a time when mining companies have spent, on average, more than USD $10 billion each year exploring for minerals worldwide.
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