Wahidullah Shahrani the Minister of Mines
Afghanistan is endowed with vast quantities of natural resources, including extensive deposits of copper, iron, coal, marble, precious metals, gemstones and hydrocarbons. Unique to Afghanistan, these resources have remained untouched and undeveloped. Generations of instability have resulted in little exploration, minor development attempts and an inadequate infrastructure for development and transportation of these resources.
In order to realize the tremendous potential of Afghanistan's resources, a number of reform initiatives have been launched in the Ministry of Mines.
Recently the Ministry of Mines has completed its first ever Business Plan, which is a significant restructuring and reform package to better allow the Ministry of Mines to accommodate the changing needs of the industry.
There is an overall driving goal of finical independence for Afghanistan. Development of mineral resources and development of growth along infrastructure corridors needed for mineral resource extraction can supply the economic impetus to achieve goal. Recognizing this, there is a strong resurgence in identifying, exploring and developing the mineral and hydrocarbons resources of Afghanistan. This development will play a huge function for the long term economic and social sustainability of the country. Therefore the Ministry of Mines plans to move forward with development of these natural resources at an unparalleled pace.
The vision of the Ministry of Mines is to be an enabler of the sector’s development and steward of all mineral and hydrocarbon resources through the implementation of international best practice policies, regulations and procedures to encourage environmentally and socially acceptable private investment.
It is the responsibility of the Ministry of Mines to ensure progress in research, exploration, development, and exploitation of both minerals and hydrocarbons. The Ministry of Mines is also responsible for protection of rights to exploit, transport, and market these resources in accordance to the countries Mineral and Hydrocarbon Laws, Regulations and Policies.
The principles of the Ministry of Mines approach to the development of the mineral and hydrocarbon sectors are to promote market-based solutions founded on institutional competence. The Ministry of Mines approach will be to create the highest level of ministerial competence, promote clear and transparent investment opportunities through modern laws, regulation and policies; and develop a progressive and inviting fiscal regime.
Afghanistan has become a candidate country with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), the global standard for improved transparency in the oil, gas and mining sector. Afghanistan adopted the EITI principals voluntarily to increase transparency in revenue flows between oil, gas and mining companies and the Government. The Government will publicise the revenues so that Afghans can hold their Government to account for their use of the money. The Government is determined to use the wealth generated from Afghanistan’s mineral and hydrocarbon resources to benefit all Afghans. The revenue raised would be use to tackle poverty and finance economic development.
Current activity within the Ministry of Mines are restructuring, developing an investor friendly regulatory regime, managing the Aynak Copper contract, tendering of the Hajigak Iron deposit, redevelopment of existing hydrocarbon fields, and exploration of coal, gold, copper, and iron resources. Future plans include the transformation of state owned hydrocarbon and mineral corporations into corporatized entities and the re-establishment of Afghanistan Geologic Service as the premier national centre for mineral information. Planned hydrocarbon work included limited 3-D seismic studies to entice interest in field development. Planned mineral work includes basic geologic studies of mineralized areas and limited sub-surface research to entice interests of little known mineral deposits. We welcome all the international Investors to come and Invest in Afghanistan and be part of the community development in the country.