There is very little mining activity being undertaken in Afghanistan due to the current political situation within the country, however, there are large coal reserves within the country, proven deposits of high-grade coal being placed at 100 Mt and probable reserves estimated at 400 Mt. The deposits are mostly concentrated in the region between Herat and Badakshan in the north. Coal is mined at Karkar in the Pule-e-Khumri region, at Ishpushta near Doshi to the north of Kabul and at Dar-e-Suf to the south of Mazar. Coal output used to be around 180,000 t/y and there were efforts to raise this to 300,000 t/y.

Czechoslovakia used to supply the mining equipment needed to extract coal in the hard-coal mines in the north and also helped set up a cement plant with a capacity of 115,000 t/y. There are also deposits of high-grade chrome ore in the Logar valley, near Herat. Uranium mined in the Khwaja Rawash Mountains to the east of Kabul used to be exported to the Central Asian countries. The Kunar Valley has beryllium deposits and lapis lazuli in Badakshan. There are also occurences of gold and silver along the Panjshir Valley.

A copper mining smelter/plant established with Soviet assistance at Ainak, south of Kabul, suffered badly because of US bombing. It had a mining capacity of 150,000 t/y of copper ore.

Shaun Bakamoso

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