Council of Ministers to soon approve Afghanistan’s mining laws draft

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The Council of Ministers gives preliminary approval to the delayed mining laws of Afghanistan.

According to the presidential palace press release, the Council of Ministers decided Monday to approve the mining laws draft.

Ministry of Justice and Mines are required to present the draft to the Council of Ministers in the next meeting for approval after a series of adjustments to the draft.

The stated ministries were ordered to consider inclusion of sufficient guarantee in the law to prevent misuse of the minerals.

Legal extraction and proper usage of the minerals can play an important role in the economic growth of the country.

The two ministries were further ordered to remove limited biddings from the draft.

Mines and Justice Ministries are responsible to ensure the draft is standard and can be used in the future as criteria for bidding process and mining licenses.

According to Reuters, the news will be greeted with relief by Western donors, who committed to provide $4bn in aid from 2012 to 2015 based partly on projections of future mining earnings, only to see cabinet reject the legislation in July due to concern the laws failed to protect national interests from foreign exploitation.

The Afghan government expected about USD 1.5bn in revenue for the 2016 from mines extraction; however, delays to the legislation’s passage and ongoing concerns about insecurity shattered the hopes.

The Cabinet’s decision about the approval of the mining law comes as illegal extraction is becoming widespread in Afghanistan.

According to a report from Pentagon, Afghanistan is endowed with vast amounts of gold, copper, oil, iron and other minerals and gemstones, with an estimated value of more than USD 3 trillion.

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