Copper mine project underway

Jiangxi Copper Group involved in the development of Afghanistan, Aina Ke Copper Project started

2009-7-15 Source: Dajiang Wang – Jiangxi Daily

July 10 Congjiang Copper Group was informed by the China Metallurgical Group Corporation and Jiangxi Copper Corporation to jointly develop copper projects in Afghanistan Aina Ke, July 9 officially under construction.

It is understood that Aina Ke copper from the Afghan capital, Kabul, about 35 kilometers, is considered not yet developed the world’s second-largest copper mine. 7.05,1.56%,1100, The total amount of proven resources, the amount of 705 million tons of ore, with an average 1.56% copper, copper metal content of 11 million tons for the large copper deposit. 20086, In June 2008, China Metallurgical Group Corporation and Jiangxi Copper Group, the investment consortium composed of copper in the development of bid victory. ,50% The project put into operation, the output of not less than 50% of the copper concentrate products will be in accordance with international practice and the same international prices of copper sold to Jiang.
Source: Google translation of Chinese report at Jiangxi Copper Corporation

Aynak copper mine railway

There have been some slighly vague news reports suggesting that the railway from Iran to Herat may open during March. I’ve not seen anything definite yet though, and still haven’t seen any pictures of construction works.

Meanwhile, China’s thirst for copper could hold key to Afghanistan’s future is a March 8 2009 report from the South Asian News Agency about the Aynak copper mine project: China must complete an ambitious set of infrastructure projects, including Afghanistan’s first national railway, as part of the deal.

Moreover, China must deliver the infrastructure projects that helped it snag the deal over six rivals, including Phelps Dodge Corp., which was acquired by Phoenix-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. in 2007.

These include an onsite copper smelter, a $500 million generating station to power the project and augment Kabul’s electricity supply, a coal mine to fuel the power station, a groundwater system, roads, new homes, hospitals and schools for mine workers and their families, and a railway line from the country’s northern border with Uzbekistan to its southeastern border with Pakistan.

The deal, Ashraf said, is structured so that by the seventh year, the entire work force will be Afghan. Beginning in 2010, 60 Afghan engineering students a year will study in China, he said, adding that Chinese language courses have begun at Kabul University.

Employment projections vary, but there’s general agreement that as many as 10,000 workers could be hired at Aynak and the coal mine in central Afghanistan, which the Jalrez Valley road project will link to the copper field. The railway will need thousands more.
Source: South Asian News Agency 2009-03-08

Routes from Afghanistan to China

There is a a letter in the August 2008 issue of Railway Gazette International from railway consultant David Brice, who has worked in Afghanistan providing advice on transport.

He considers the options for the railway planned to run from the Aynak copper mine to China via Dushanbe and Kashgar, concluding that standard gauge would be the best choice, and “the opportunity to avoid tedious gauge changes must not be passed up.”

China’s role in Afghan copper project

In ‘Just World News’, journalist Helena Cobban writes about China’s role in the Aynak copper mine project. The plans include a rail link to China.

China buys in to Iraqi, Afghan end-games

Posted by Helena Cobban at August 30, 2008 01:35 PM

If the Chinese really are also going to build a rail line that comes from western China, through Tajikstan, down through Afghanistan (including Aynak,) and through Pakistan to Karachi, then that is extremely significant.

I think the China-Tajikstan connector is already underway…

But the whole project, when completed, will have huge benefits:

  • for China, in its continuing drive to bring economic development to its far-west regions,
  • for Tajikstan and the other landlocked former-Soviet Stans, who have pretty good Soviet-era railway systems– but so far, most of them connect to the outside world only through Russia. This new connector would give them new outlets, to both China and the Arabian Sea.
  • for Pakistan, which gets access to a whole new hinterland and trading bloc there in Stanistan, and finally–
  • for Afghanistan, which gets its first ever long distance rail line– and one that connects, moreover, to such a lot of other interesting and potentially lucrative places. It also thereby gets a way to start exporting not just the massive amounts of copper said to exist in Aynak but all the rest of its currently barely scratched-at wealth of mineral resources.

Win-win-win all round, I’d say. And not just because I’m a committed ferrophile.

Read the full article at ‘Just World News’

Afghan president mentions through rail route

Speaking to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation’s Heads of State Summit in Colombo last week, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said

As part of the contract with a Chinese consortium for the exploration of the Aynak copper deposit, a railway line will be constructed which will connect Central Asia to South Asia, thereby expediting the transport of people and goods within the region and beyond.

The suggestions of passenger transport, and a through north-south link, are interesting.

The project was announced last November. A consortim of China Metallurgical Group Corporation and Jiangxi Copper Co would build a railway line from the town of Hairatan on the Amu Darya bordering Uzbekistan, through Logar and to Torkham on the Pakistan border to export the minerals.

Kabul to China railway via Dushanbe?

Railway Gazette International June 2008 reports:

At a meeting with his Iranian and Afghan counterparts, the Foreign Minister of Tajikistan proposed that a railway which is planned to serve a Chinese copper mining concession at Aynak, east of Kabul, be routed through Kunduz, Panj and then to the Tajik capital Dushanbe. A line would be built up the Vakhsh River valley and onwards to Kashi in China. This route avoids the difficult Wakhan corridor.

Rail plan for Afghan copper mine

AFP reports on November 21:

Afghanistan has chosen a Chinese bidder to lease a copper mine which is possibly the world’s largest, in a contract that is set to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars, the mines ministry said Tuesday [20 November 2007].

The 30-year lease has been offered to China Metallurgical Group Corporation (MCC) to develop the Aynak mine 30 kilometres (20 miles) east of Kabul, a Afghan mines ministry spokesman said.

China’s commerce ministry said in a statement on its website that MCC, a state-owned metal producer and contractor, and Jiangxi Copper Co. would jointly develop the mine.

MCC, expected to sign a deal in the coming months, is to invest around three billion dollars to explore and develop the mine, which will also provide jobs for thousands of Afghans, Afghan ministry spokesman Kozhman Ulomi said.

The company also said it would build a railway line from the town of Hairatan on the Amu Darya (Oxys River) bordering Uzbekistan, through Logar and to Torkham on the Pakistan border to export the minerals, the official said.

It added that it would construct a town near the mine for 1,500 families. Other spinoffs would include extra demand for Afghan coal and the creation of small industries using other metal taken from the mine, he said.

First discovered in 1974, the mine is estimated to contain 11.3 million tonnes of copper. About 200,000 tonnes could be extracted a year, Ulomi said.