According to article nine of the Afghan constitution, the government of Afghanistan owns the mineral rights and other natural resources of this country.
In connection with this, the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) as a key sectoral ministry is currently involved in the research, exploration, development, exploitation, and processing of minerals and hydrocarbons. The Ministry is also responsible for the protection and oversight of the ownership, transportation and marketing of those resources in accordance to the countries proposed new laws for Minerals and Hydrocarbons.
The long term vision of the Ministry is the creation of an effective administration that promotes the efficient utilization of natural resources, creation of jobs and encouragement of private investment in the mining and hydrocarbon sectors, with a stated goal of enhancing the sustainability of the country while increasing government revenues.
As a key ministry, MoMP oversee the prospecting, exploration, development, exploitation and processing of minerals and hydrocarbons, and is responsible for facilitating the ownership, transportation and marketing of natural resources, in accordance with Minerals Law and Hydrocarbons Laws.
Afghanistan has extensive natural resources, including copper, iron, coal, marble, precious metals, hydrocarbons, and precious stones. These resources have been less developed in Afghanistan and many are even undevelped because of long-term instability and insecurity. These factors hindered the work in the mining sector; there has been little improvement in mining and development of its infrastructure.
To enhance the promotion of private sector investment in the mining and hydrocarbons sectors, a contract was signed with United States Geological Survey (USGS) to conduct a remote sensing survey of the country. The USGS in collaboration with the United States Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) conducted an airborne geophysical and remote sensing survey of Afghanistan during the summer of 2006.
Data collected by this survey has provided a basic insight into the occurrence of mineral resources in the sphere of economic development which in turn should serve as both an aid and incentive for private investors.
The Ministry of Mines employs approximately 2300 staff consisting of managers; researchers, technical, professional and administrative staff placed around the country.