Afghan government has recently gained control of three coal mines in northern Samangan province, which was under the control of Taliban militants and powerful figures; Mohiuddin Nuri spokesman for the mines ministry said on Tuesday in a press conference here.
Afghan forces have also re-taken control of Chromite mines located in central Parwan province from armed illegal figures, he said.
Nuri said Afghan forces have totally curbed illegal extraction of upward 1,200 mines throughout the country and they are still making their efforts to take the control of any other illegally occupied mines.
He recalled that the recent gains of Afghan security forces shows that there has been illegal extraction of mines and on one can doubt on it. “We are still worried that there might be more illegal extractions done in areas of remote provinces, as they lack sufficient security measures.” he added.
In the meantime, many Afghanistan’s observers on natural resources say Afghan ministry of mines is suffering lack of qualified leaders and managers so that they could manage and meet Afghanistan’s needs with revenues gained by the mines once/if foreign aids are reduced or cut.
Ongoing operations in Badakhshan
On the other hand, reports of Taliban militants’s gaining control of Badakhshan’s Lapis mines in recent months drew attentions. According to reports, they would control and extract these mines and earned a wealth of benefits through smuggling them.
However, government now says it has taken the control of mineral areas of these mines and put an end to the illegal extraction of these mines, used to be done by armed militants.
Mohiuddin Nuri said “security forces took control of mineral areas of these mines in northern Badakhshan province and put an end to the illegal extraction of them.”
He also added that the Ministry of Mines in cooperation with Ministry of Interior is forming a joint committee to investigate safety of mines throughout the country and police forces would step in once needed to ensure better safety of mines.