Overall Mining Investment Opportunity Potential of Afghanistan
- Estimated at up to $3 trillion dollar potential value, based on geological survey information collected by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and augmented from prior survey work by the British and the Soviets.
- Huge potential for further exploration as the estimated valuation covers only 30% of the Afghan territory.
- Afghanistan has sizeable deposits of iron ore, gold, coal, copper, oil and gas, and rare earth metals among other minerals.
Potential Investment in the Mining Sector of Afghanistan
- USGS estimates that Afghanistan may contain up to $800 billion in sedimentary iron, $200-400 billion in copper, $10 billion in tin/tungsten, $ 1 billion bauxite, $ 1 billion gold, $200 billion marble, and $400 billion in hydrocarbons (including oil, gas, lignite and peat).
- The Hajigak Iron Ore deposit located in Bamiyan Province is of particular significance as one of the largest unexploited iron ore deposits in Asia.
- In the future, the Ministry of Mines has also announced that the Badakhstan Gold deposits will go out to tender this year and the Balkhat Copper will open in 2011 along with hydrocarbon projects.
- There are 5 major crude oil and gas basins in Afghanistan with total proven gas reserves of 82.5 billion cubic meters of gas and 73 million metric barrels of crude oil. The most advanced basin is Amu-Darya which is located in the North-West of Afghanistan with 7 Gas and 6 Oil commercial discoveries. The others are Afghan-Tadjik basin, Tirpul, Helmand and Kundar-Urgun. The existing data or the reserves are dated to over 20 years ago, so recoverable reserves should significantly enhance the using modern recovery techniques. There is also large unproven potential in frontier areas with analogues in neighboring countries.
- A survey compiled in 2002 of historical data shows 112 significant gold-related mineral occurrences in provinces of Badakhshan, Takhar, Zabul and Ghazni of Afghanistan. The blue sky potential for further discoveries of gold is enormous. For example a deposit called Samti located in Takhar may contain between 20 tons to 25 tons of gold. Furthermore, Afghanistan is rich in emeralds, ruby, sapphire, Lapis lazuli and tourmaline, kunzite, aquamarine, spodumene and beryl. These gemstones occur more in the North-Eastern part of the country in Punisher Valley, Jegdalek, Badakhshan and Nuristan.
Hajigak Iron Ore Deposit
- Resource of 1.8 billion tons.
- High Fe content @ 62%.
- Significant possibility of discovering additional reserves.
- Close to Darai-Suf coal deposit (coking availability).
- Tender package include rights to chromites and other mineral deposits needed for steel production.
In recent years the Ministry of Mines has achieved huge success in shaping the mining industry and creating an investment friendly environment for investors.
- Completed a strategic review of Afghanistan’s natural resource endowment.
- Ministry of Mines has restructured and transformed from a traditional producer and operator to a modern economic entity with a special focus on regulatory, policy making and facilitating roles through private sector investment.
- Approved a 5 year Business Plan to transform the strategy of the Ministry of Mines.
- Established the value of these natural resources at trillions of dollars.
- Published a comprehensive policy to exploit this natural resource potential.
- Reviewed and recommended changes in legislation to remove barriers to investment.
- Marketed Afghanistan’s investment potential at global financial centers.
- Signed the contract for the railway that will connect Afghanistan to Pakistan, South Asia and Europe.
- Launched the world’s largest iron ore mining tender in September 2010 for open competition.
- Ministry of Mines has developed a clear legal framework in place (Minerals Law and Hydrocarbons Law).