The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum says that talks are underway with China's MCC company over the start of the Logar Mes Aynak project, and that a Chinese delegation will arrive in Kabul by the end of this month.
According to the ministry spokesman, the Islamic Emirate has asked MCC China to continue its work on the Mes Aynak Logar copper project based on the previous contract.
“They will be physically in Kabul in March and will discuss the issue with the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum,” said Esmatullah Borhan, spokesman of the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum.
Construction of a railway from Torkham border to Hairatan Port, a thermal power plant with a capacity of four hundred megawatts, the construction of Mes Aynak road, and copper processing inside Afghanistan are among the significant points in the Mes Aynak Logar mine contract with MCC China.
Meanwhile, local officials in Logar province say that all preparations have been made for the start of the Mes Aynak Logar copper project.
“China MCC is in contact with the officials of the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum and they have shown readiness. There are some issues that are being discussed and these issues will be resolved,” said Rafiullah Samim, director of information and culture in Logar province.
The Mes Aynak Logar Mine is located 30 km from Kabul province and has been closed for years.
Under the previous contract to extract copper from the mine, the Chinese company is required to pay the Afghan government $400 million a year.
According to economists, security challenges and the presence of antiquities at Mes Aynak in Logar have delayed its extraction process for years.
“We cannot rely on talks to advance the economic situation and macro-projects. Macro-interests need macro-economic plans,” said Shaker Yaqoobi, economist.
In 2008, the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum signed the Mes Aynak Logar copper mining contract with the Chinese company MCC, in which the Chinese company had to invest more than two and a half billion dollars in the first phase of the project, and the extraction process would begin.