The iron ore slice of the $1 trillion Afghanistan resource pie

A public-private Indian consortium, AFISCO, 16% of which is owned by a single Indian family, will soon begin operations at what is to be the world’s second largest iron ore mine in Hajigak, Bamyan Province, Afghanistan.

The consortium won the concession from Hamid Karzai’s government in 2011.

Afghanistan government sources claim that the iron ore reserves amount to roughly 1.2 billion tonnes. The original bid also proposed erection of a 6.2 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) Afghan steel plant, 800MW power plant and “over 200 kms of rail, road and transmission line network for the mine and steel project.”

According to US and Afghan estimates, the country is sitting on mineral deposits worth roughly $1 trillion.

In addition to iron ore, major deposits include copper, gold, uranium and precious stones such as emeralds.

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