Taliban launches chromite extraction in Paktika province

Taliban kicked off a chromite extraction project in the Gayan district of eastern Paktika province on Friday, the group’s Bakhtar News Agency reported.

Nazar Gul Sayyad, Taliban’s provincial head of Mines and Petroleum Ministry, told Bakhtar that the mining contract has been awarded to a foreign company that will extract 90,000 tonnes of chromite-bearing rocks in the next five years. Each ton has been set at 15,100 Afghani (US$ 190).

Sayyed stated that the Taliban will collect in revenue a total of 1.359 billion Afghani (over US$17,000,000) during the five-year period.

The project will also create jobs for dozens of people, he added.

Afghanistan is one of the world’s most resource-rich countries and reportedly sits on an estimated $1 trillion worth of rare earth minerals, including chromite used in the production of steel, glass, and cement.

Since overtaking power two years ago, the Taliban has signed mining deals with numerous companies, particularly Chinese companies, to mine the country’s untapped natural reserves.

Last month, the group inked seven major mining deals—including gold, copper, lead, and iron—worth over US$6.5 billion with a number of local and foreign companies.