Afghans draft in PwC to open up $3trn mineral reserves

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been called in by the Afghanistan government to develop its $3trn mining and minerals industry.

The Ministry of Mines is understood to have hired the British big four accountant to help develop the country's vast natural resources as Afghanistan looks to drag itself out of the economic mire caused by decades of conflict.

A "handful" of PwC advisers from the firm are working with the ministry, a source said. On Friday, the ministry addressed about 200 senior mining figures in London, which is widely considered the global economic capital of the sector.

Afghanistan is looking for a big international miner to develop the Hajigak iron ore deposit that lies 130 killometres west of Kabul, in the mountainous Bamiyan province. It is relatively safe, with a low Taliban presence.

It is thought that the deposit contains 1.8 billion tons of iron ore, potentially worth billions of dollars to miners willing to explore and develop the area.

Gustavson Associates, a US consultant, is advising on a tender process that is likely to be launched towards the end of this year.

Afghan officials have recently moved to ensure that western miners are not deterred by fears of corruption. Earlier this month, the Minister of Mines, Wahidullah Shahrani, said that he would make the contracting of mining rights as open a process as possible.

JP Morgan, which advises some of the biggest miners in the Ftse, including Xstrata, has visited Afghanistan to identify potential mining projects. Ian Hannam, the investment bank's famously successful rainmaker, recently confirmed the interest.

Mr Hannam is also involved in another big deal in the mining sector, it emerged on Friday. With Credit Suisse, he is advising on the flotation of a newly incorporated company called Vallar. Run by financier Nathaniel Rothschild, Vallar is looking to raise £600m to start buying assets from big mining companies that are looking to dispose of non-core assets. The group could end up spending as much as £5bn.

Another big listing is moving closer. Glencore, the secretive commodities trader, is expected to appoint advisers to help it raise an estimated £4.2bn in London in the next month.

A massive listing, it is expected that several banks could end up filling the so-called "bookrunner" positions. Citi and Morgan Stanley are almost certain to land roles because of their previous relationships with Glencore, according to an industry source.

However, the big names in the city will likely be keeping a closer eye on the Afghanistan situation. The bigger names, such as FTSE 100 stalwarts BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, won't want their rivals to steal a march on them in such a resource rich land.

They will be concerned that the military and political situations remain fragile. Just last week, US President Barack Obama replaced General Stanley McChrystal with General David Petraeus as the top commander in the country.

General McChrystal made damning remarks about the Obama administration's handling of the Afghanistan war to a reporter from Rolling Stone magazine.

General Petraeus was the brain behind the counterinsurgency 'surge' that proved so successful in Iraq.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

The benefits of being in Recruitment at SThree...

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...

Test Analyst - UAT - Credit Risk

£280 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Test Analyst, Edinburgh, Credit Ris...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little