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Mes Aynak mining still on hold as company deals with challenges

(Last Updated On: June 22, 2023)

MJAM, the Chinese company that has the extraction contract for Aynak copper mine, in Logar province, has not been able to start operating due to the number of challenges they are facing.

According to John J. Coy, the vice president of MJAM, land acquisition around the mine is one major obstacle that is currently preventing the company from starting work.

Coy said the company cannot solve this problem alone and requires the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s cooperation.

In addition to the land acquisition issues, it is reported that other major obstacles also exist and require resolution before the project can begin. Coy suggested that the Aynak copper mine contract needs to be reviewed in light of current challenges, and that there should be more dialogue between the Chinese company and the Islamic Emirate.

In return for the contract, the company is contractually bound to help needy families in the area with aid.

In the meantime, the Minister of Culture and Arts, Atiqullah Azizi, has stated that his ministry has prepared a plan to preserve the ancient Aynak copper mining site where countless artifacts have been found. Azizi says his ministry is currently in talks with a company to carry out this work and hopes to start practical work on the project as soon as possible.

Shokrallah, a representative from the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, says the ministry is working to start practical work on mining the Aynak copper mine. However, the ministry acknowledges that they are in talks with MJAM to resolve the differences about this project.

The Aynak copper mine extraction contract was won by MJAM back in 2007. Since then, security problems and the presence of ancient artifacts in the mining area have prevented the company from starting work on the project, leading officials to seek out solutions and dialogue with the Islamic Emirate to resolve the problems.