Local Sources: Chinese Engineers Involved in Illegal Mining in Takhar

Chinese engineers are involved in illegal mining along with some Taliban members and mafia bands in Chah Ab district of the northeastern Takhar province, local sources said.

Nooraba gold deposit is located in Angir village of Chah Ab district.

A source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Kabul Now that Chinese engineers and specialists have come to the Nooraba gold deposit. They are busy mining the deposit without winning a contract or even participating in a bid, the source detailed.

According to the source, these Chinese engineers are closely tied with some powerful Taliban officials and mafia bands.

Meanwhile, another source said that some private companies have brought in Chinese engineers and bribed the Taliban for letting them extract the gold mine.

Mohammad Kazim, Taliban’s deputy governor for Takhar, also admitted that some people are still busy with illegal mining in some districts of the province.

The relevant authorities must prevent illegal mining, he noted.

This comes amid reports that indicate China was interested in extracting Afghanistan’s mineral deposits, particularly copper and lithium deposits, under the Taliban rule. A Chinese delegation had once held talks about extracting copper deposits in Logar province with the Taliban officials.

Afghanistan is said to be a rich country with gemstones and mineral deposits, particularly in the northeastern Takhar and Badakhshan provinces.

Illegal mining was prevalent before the Taliban return to power as well. The Taliban had control over many deposits in different parts of the country. Illegal mining was reportedly a key income source funding the group’s war against the former Afghan government and its international allies.