The militant Islamist Taliban, who rule in Afghanistan, say they have signed contracts for the exploitation of large deposits of raw materials. Agreements for the operation of seven mines were signed in the capital Kabul on Thursday, the state news agency Bachtar reported. Accordingly, investments amounting to the equivalent of six billion euros were agreed. It was not clear which companies were awarded the contract and from which countries the investments came exactly.
According to a statement by the Taliban Ministry of Economic Affairs, the mines are for gold, copper, lead and iron ore. The investments therefore come from Asia and Europe. The ministry did not initially give any further details. Afghanistan has large deposits of raw materials that have hardly been tapped in the past four decades due to the conflicts. The total value could amount to 940 billion euros or more, according to estimates. So far, however, there is a lack of infrastructure and sufficient power capacity to exploit the deposits on a large scale. Afghanistan’s landlocked location and rugged landscape make mining and export difficult.