Developing the Afghan Extractive Sector – Afghan Delegation Attends International Convention in Canada

Today, the four-day convention Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC), Trade Show & Investors Exchange 2020 ended in Toronto, Canada. To promote the Afghan extractive sector internationally, a delegation of five members from the Afghan Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP), including Acting Minister Enayatullah Momand, participated in the event. PDAC is an annual convention on mineral exploration in which over 1,000 exhibitors, 38,000 investors and 24,000 attendees from 130 countries participate. The Afghan-German Cooperation supported the delegation.

In his opening speech, Acting Minister Enayatullah Momand stated, ‘Afghanistan has a great opportunity to increase its share in the mining market. This is particularly true because of the increasing demand for higher quality gems in North America, Europe, East Asia and the Middle East. I invite all international companies to support the Afghan mining sector, either by direct investment or by offering their technical expertise in mines exploration and exploitations.’

High-ranking officials and experts from the MoMP accompanied Acting Minister Momand throughout the convention. The delegation not only focused on encouraging private investment in the Afghan extractive sector, but they learned about the latest technical knowledge, new technologies, products, services and mining jurisdictions. In addition, the group engaged in networking and peer learning activities with international colleagues and private mining companies. 

Habibullah Mirkhail, Senior Technical Advisor of MoMP, commented, ‘The Afghan delegation represented its mining sector well. The companies in attendance now have a good picture of the Afghan mining sector and we are optimistic that this event will promote international investment in the country.’

Afghanistan has an abundance of natural resources that remain largely untapped. To date, 1,400 mineral occurrences, prospects and deposits have been identified in the country. Afghanistan offers a wealth of opportunities in the exploration of non-fuel mineral resources, including iron, gold, copper, lead, zinc, mercury, tin, talc, marble and others.

To this extent, the MoMP offers several opportunities for prospectors and developers to be a part of one of the fastest emerging extractive sectors in the world. Afghanistan’s mineral resources offer great potential to increase economic growth, generate additional revenue and create many additional jobs in the country.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH implements the programme Strengthening Good Governance in the Mining Sector (MinGov) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The project aims to monitor and ensure transparency in the extractive industry to help regulate government revenues, promote investment and fight corruption over the long term. It advises and supports the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) on transparent data management, complying with international standards, and developing and enhancing practical expertise while promoting women in the mining sector. It supports Afghanistan in becoming revalidated in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), requiring data transparency and anti-corruption measures. Since 2013, over 700 people received professional training and job-specific training.