A May 2010 update on the Aynak copper project. No mention of railways, but “exploitation activities of the deposit will begin in two years”.
Aynak Copper Deposit Exploitation on Track to Begin Operations in Two Years
The Minister of Mines Wahidullah Shahrani visited the Aynak Copper Deposit to observe ongoing research activity and equipment installation.
While visiting the Aynak copper deposit, Mr. Shahrani told MCC authorities there that the techno-economical research should be accelerated, and that according to the contract, the resulting report is to be completed in six months for presentation to the Ministry of Mines.
The main goal of the trip to Aynak was to assess the work progress thus far at the deposit. The area of demined land is about three million square meters. More the five thousand square meters of land has been drilled so far to determinate the potential capacity of deposit.
A 17 Km long security ring road also has been built, the work at the base of deposit has been completed, the building of the project headquarters is 70% competed, and more than 65 police posts have been established around the deposit.
According to the terms of the contract, it is expected that the assembly and installation of technical equipment will be completed in one year, while exploitation activities of the deposit will begin in two years.
Source: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ministry of Mines, 2010-05-27
A 2008 announcement gives details of the Anyank copper mine project and associated railway plan.
The largest contract in history of Afghanistan is signed
Exploration, exploitation, processing and smelting Contract of Aynak copper deposit signed between the ministry of mines of Afghanistan and MCC Company of China.
Eng. Ibrahim Adel minister of mines, Dr. Anwarulhaq Ahadi, minister of finance, Dr. Jalil Shams, minister of economy, Mr. Yang Houlan, Chinese ambassador in Kabul and Shen Heting chairman of MCC were present at the special ceremony for this occasion.
Inaugurating the ceremony, Eng, Adel said: ‘’I am glad to sign the contract of a project, which in viewpoints of physical mass, investment, and incomes for state and job opportunities, is the largest contract in the history of our country’’.
Pointing the history of copper resource of Aynak, the minister for mines said: ‘’about 40 years ago, the Aynak copper deposit was discovered and its exploration began, but unfortunately, its exploitation delayed for 40 years’’.
During the cooperation of former Soviet Union with the ministry of mines, there was a plan to enrich the copper ores to 30%, and as raw materials transfer outside of the country, the process of melting and infiltrating will had been there, but Afghan experts in point of national interests, restrained this plan and were not afraid in this regard.
Fortunately according to this contract, all of the exploration, exploitation, process, smelting and cathodic infiltration will done in side the country, that transfer the knowledge, experience and technology. This project provides electricity network and transportation facilities to the residences of around the copper resources of Logar province, and especially builds primary and secondary schools, regional markets, clinics and masques for the surrounding residents of the copper deposit of Aynak, Darband and Jowhar.
The minister for mines added: “This project provides high level of income for the government, and opportunities for more then 6000 people directly and for thousands others indirectly, is the largest project in the history of Afghanistan. And has other sub projects such as extinction of rail way form north of Afghanistan to Torkham border, exploration and exploitation of phosphors resours to produce the mineral fertilizer, exploration and exploitation of coal mines to generate 400 mega watts electricity – 200 MW will operate the project and other 200 mw will be bought by ministry of energy and water and distribute to people.- Each of these projects has economical and social benefits, specially the project of railway will have the basic and important role to reclaim the historic importance of Afghanistan (Silk way), and, because this railway will join the central Asia to south Asia and China, will not only play significant role in transit of mining products to international markets, but also will join the central Asian countries to the countries of south of Asia.
The minister of mines said: “While the usage of railway has vital pith for exploitation of iron mines, therefore this railway will increase the significance of Hajigak iron ore, the exploration and exploitation of which will be tendered internationally.
At the end, the minister for mines said: the implementation of this contract and investment will courage other national and international companies to investment in Afghanistan, an I am hopeful that this will be the first step toward the other large projects to interest for investment, and in the future more companies take part in tender and show their interest in investing in Afghanistan.
Yang Houlan, Chinese ambassador to Afghanistan, said: Afghan- China friendship has a long background and hope the project of Aynak will strengthen this friendship.
Appreciating the hospitality of Afghans, Shen Heting the chairman of MCC said: I am happy to gather in Kabul to sign an important contract, this project I hope to begin the new round of Afghan-China cooperation.
Introducing the MCC Company, he added: “MCC is a large company, works under the supervision of government and have active presence in five continents of the world.”
Mr. Heting, said: ‘’this project, economically and socially is an important project for the people of Afghanistan’’, and he added that this project strengthen relationship between the two countries.
Dr. Anwarulhaque Ahadi, minister for finance, entitled the project, a great achievement for Afghanistan, and said the transparency and sincerity of its tender will provide great tendency for additional investments in Afghanistan.
He hoped that this will have not been the last contract, and in the future these kinds of project will play its role to purge the poverty and secure the national development.
Dr. Abdurahman Ashraf, advisor to the president in mining affairs and president of Kabul University, said: “Afghanistan has many more mines similar to Aynak copper resources, and I am hopeful the coming generations will sign the similar contracts for them.”
At the end of the ceremony, the ministry for mines of Afghanistan and Mr. Heting the chairman of MCC, signed the contract, and after that both of them answered the questions of journalist at a press conference.
Source: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ministry of Mines, 2008-05-25
There was an “inauguration” (start of work?) ceremony for the project in July 2009.