Chinese mining group looks for opportunities in Afghanistan

The Chinese mining group is looking for opportunities in Afghanistan to acquire lithium and copper deposits in the country, because a few months after the Taliban seized power, Beijing intervened in the void left by the United States and its allies.

According to a senior official in Kabul and a representative of the Chinese Industry Association, a group of mining representatives have visited Afghanistan in recent weeks.

China’s efforts to ensure mining rights are facing severe situation in Afghanistan Financial and humanitarian crisis Following the withdrawal of the U.S. and coalition forces in August, and after the meeting between Beijing and Taliban leaders before the U.S. withdrawal.

“Since August 2021, China has maintained direct communication with the Taliban. As one of the first countries to provide assistance, it has undoubtedly promoted relations with the Taliban. The Taliban is eager to financially stabilize the Afghan economy,” said Claudia Ja. Analyst at the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore.

Leading economies are eager to ensure Get lithium Copper is an important resource used to develop technologies such as electric vehicle batteries and smart phones. Nomura Securities said that some reports claim that the lithium deposits in Afghanistan are comparable to the world’s largest reserves known in Bolivia.

In recent weeks, the Taliban have had talks with the Taliban on entering Mes Aynak in southeast Kabul, which is one of the world’s largest copper mines. The Chinese group had previously Have a mining license.

According to people familiar with the matter, at least one Chinese private sector group has also traveled to the eastern provinces of Nangarhar and Laghman to study other minerals.

But the negotiations are still in the early stages, and there is no guarantee that the Chinese miners will return to the miners Afghan Minerals, People said.

The Chinese Industry Association stated that dozens of companies have investigated the potential of exploring Afghanistan’s resources, including lithium.

Nomura analysts said in a report that, as “first-tier lithium companies”, given concerns about environmental, social and governance issues, these companies are “unlikely” to set foot in Afghanistan.

The chart shows the recognized lithium resources worldwide

The two Chinese miners mentioned in the report-Ganfeng Lithium, the world’s largest lithium producer, and Tianqi Lithium, one of China’s largest listed lithium miners-denied participating in the recent trip.

For a long time, mining projects in Afghanistan have been facing huge logistical and security challenges. For example, Laghman is the birthplace and last stronghold of mankind. ISIS-K, A radical organization inspired by Isis, fighting a low-level insurgency against the Taliban.

China has always worried about the Taliban’s approach to Xinjiang, which is the western region bordering Afghanistan, where Beijing has detained more than 1 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities.

Analysts said that any mining and production will depend on the Taliban to ensure the safety of Chinese investment.

“The Taliban may consider providing security personnel for the Chinese project, similar to what Pakistan did for the CPEC project,” Jia said, referring to the infrastructure projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor supported by Beijing.

“Alternatively, you can hire a Chinese private security company that already has operations in Central Asia and Pakistan to provide security services… Having said that, local security is still difficult to manage,” she said.

China has Call for the lifting of economic sanctions The Afghanistan issue and the Taliban’s access to billions of dollars in frozen foreign exchange reserves held by multilateral financial institutions, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Additional reporting by Ding Maiqi in Beijing

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