Miners hope Afghan law change could spark a modern 'gold rush'
Mineral rich, but war-torn Afghanistan is to reform its mining laws in what operators in the country say could spark a "gold rush" in the country.
Afghanistan government leaders hope to improve the nation's dreadful economy by exploiting its vast reserves of copper, gold and iron ore. However, the country has been hampered not just by the war and internal tribal conflicts, but an archaic mining law that has led overseas investors and miners to question the security of their assets.
Under current legislation, any company that explores an area for minerals is not automatically granted an operational licence which is the case in most other parts of the world. Instead, the government offers the licence out to open competition, so an pioneer might have spent tens of millions of dollars in the country only to eventually hand it over to a rival to exploit.
It was hoped President Hamid Karzai's cabinet would ratify a change to this rule over the summer, but Karzai (left) has let the parliament decide on whether to modify the law. A vote, expected by November, is likely to gain a majority.
A source working in the country said: "If the law changes so that companies have security over their exploration assets then we could end up with something of a gold rush. Afghanistan needs a gold rush."
Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
Justin Bieber's unfinished monkey business
World news in pictures
David Cameron goes to war with press over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
Revealed: Eerie new images show forgotten French apartment that was abandoned at the outbreak of World War II and left untouched for 70 years
- 1 Tears and cheers as David Beckham ends glittering career after helping PSG to final win
- 2 Heading for America? Prepare for the longest US immigration queues ever
- 3 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 4 David Cameron goes to war with press over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
£30000 - £40000 per annum + BENS: Progressive Recruitment: Drupal Developer A ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + bens: Progressive Recruitment: C# WEB DEVELOPER Le...
£240 - £260 per day: Progressive Recruitment: WPF Developer (C#, VB.Net) North...
£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: KS2 teacher needed to do PPA ...