Hajigak mines: Afghan Govt to begin contract talks with Indian consortium next week

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on January 13, 2012

The Afghanistan Minister for Mines, Mr WahidullahShaharani (left), and the Afghanistan Finance Minister, DrOmar Zakhilwal, briefing the media after a meeting organisedby CII in the Capital on Friday. — Ramesh Sharma

The Afghan Government will initiate the contract negotiations with the SAIL-led consortium to develop the Hajigak iron ore mines on January 21 and the contract will be finalised and signed in March, the Afghanistan Minister for Mines, Mr Wahidullah Shaharani, said on Friday.

“It is a huge contract which requires a lot of negotiations with the developers to work out details of the power, steel plants, and the kind of infrastructure to be developed. The Indian companies which are part of the consortium have very good experience of corporate social responsibility to make sure that what ever activity is done the community nearby benefits,” Mr Shaharani said.

He was speaking to newspersons after a roundtable on ‘Business and investment opportunities in Afghanistan' organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry.

It was in November last year that a SAIL-led consortium won the bid for Hajigak iron ore mines. The consortium consists of public sector companies led by SAIL, NMDC and RINL, whereas the private sector players include JSW Steel, JSW Ispat, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd and Monnet Ispat and Energy Ltd,

The project involves establishing a 7 million tonnes steel plant which will be done in two phases, establishing a power plant using coal to generate 800 MW of power and some infrastructure for transportation.

The total investment will be more than $10 billion over the next 7-10 years while production is expected to begin in 2016. Initially the contract will be awarded for 30 years but could be extended based on mutual understanding by another 15 years, the Minister said.

“The deposit is big and most of whatever gets extracted and gets converted into iron and steel will be exported out of Afghanistan. We are considering all options for evacuation of iron ore and steel including planned railroad which will be built by the Chinese,” he added.

More blocks on tender

Meanwhile, the Afghan Government has also put four blocks of gold and three blocks of copper on tender and will very soon put two major oil and gas basins, the Minister said.

“We will put another iron ore deposit in summer on tender and we will seek more proposal for global companies including Indian companies for the development of gas fields and generating power from coal,” he said.

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Published on January 13, 2012
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