The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum on Tuesday signed the extraction contract of Herat’s Ghoryan district’s salt mine with a private company.
Acting mines and petroleum minister, Nargis Nehan, said the contractor company will extract up to 25,000 tons of salt yearly. The Afghan government’s yearly income from the mine will reach to 26 million AFs.
The contractor company will invest up to $400,000 USD in the mine. Based on the contract, the contractor will pay 1065 AFs to the Afghan government for of every ton of salt from the mine.
“In the past three years mines and petroleum ministry did not have the permission to sign any contract for any mines. Because the priority was given to managing contracts and enhancing the ministry’s capacity to bring transparency in the contract process,” said Nehan.
Nehan said before, due to a lack of transparency in contracts, capacity and existence of problems in the projects, they did not have the permission to sign contracts. However, now a number of these problems have been resolved.
The Ghoryan salt mine is 74 acres long and 10 years ago was contracted with another company.
Implementation of some of public services projects valued at $70,000 USD in the mine’s area, the establishment of a hospital and also paying $30,000 USD for environmental protection are part of the commitments of the contractor company.
“We are committed that we will start our work transparently in terms of the law and in line with the requirements of the mines ministry,” Basir Ahmad, representative of the contractor company said.
Nehan said due to problems in contracts of 14 mines, including big mines, the extraction processes have been stopped. They are now trying to resolve the problems as soon as possible.