The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) on Tuesday said the ministry is assessing the Hajigak Iron Mine situation and will put it out to tender if the Indian consortium currently tasked to operate it cannot fulfill its requirements.
According to ministry officials, they will finalize their review on the Hajigak mine in the near future.
Mines ministry said offers by a Canadian company to run the first phase of the mine has been rejected and that the ministry has called for an assessment.
Mines and petroleum ministry spokesman, Abdul Qadeer Mutfi, said if the Indian consortium does not fulfill Afghanistan’s suggestions, new contractors will be found to run the mine.
“If the Indian consortium can fulfill the technical, legal and other related issues, then the contract will be signed and the next steps will be taken. If the consortium cannot and problems exist, then it is completely natural that the process will be put out to tender,” said Mutfi.
Meanwhile a number of factory owners said considering the demand for iron on the local market, Hajigak iron mine would benefit local businesses.
A number of iron smelters said they import raw material and if Hajigak is mined, it will help grow the economy.
“Afghanistan’s mines, especially the biggest one - Hajigak - has lots of iron. If it is extracted, it will fulfill all iron needs for factories and domestic industries,” Paroz, a factory owner said.