Afghan Gold, a venture formed by Ian Hannan – the star rainmaker recently accused of market abuse – has been shortlisted for a string of mining licences in the war-torn state.
The company was a pet project for Hannan, the JP Morgan Cazenove banker who made his name in mining deals and believes that Afghanistan's fortunes could be turned by exploiting its potentially vast natural resources.
He is fighting a £450,000 fine from the Financial Services Authority, the regulator's most high profile scalp in a year-long market abuse crackdown.
Afghan Gold and its joint venture with Ankara-based Eti Gemus, have both qualified to bid for licences to mine in four copper- and gold-rich areas.
Richard Williams, Afghan Gold's chief executive, said that the licences could bring in more than $1bn to the Government in tax over the next few years.