Kazakhstan is going to cooperate with Afghanistan to explore its soil

Business news correspondent
Afghanistan is ready to give over its mineral resource map to Kazakhstan / Photo: primeminister.kz, photo editor: Denis Andreev

According to the press service of Kazakhstan’s cabinet, Kazakhstan will cooperate with Afghanistan to explore its soil for useful minerals. The two countries have already agreed to establish a joint technical committee to implement a set of geological projects in Afghanistan.

«At the initial stage, the Afghani side is expected to give over its maps of all promising natural deposits and corresponding scientific data to Kazakhstan,» the press service said in a statement.

A wide range of issues related to geological exploration and production of useful minerals was discussed by Vice Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Serik Zhumangarin and Minister of Mineral and Petroleum of Afghanistan Shahabuddin Delawar during the Kazakhstani official’s visit to Afghanistan. Representatives from ERG Exploration and Kazakhmys Barlau also took part in the negotiations. 

Afghanistan has great potential in terms of useful mineral production as the country possesses huge reserves of oil, natural gas, coal, iron ore and non-ferrous and rare earth metals.

On the other hand, the number of private investments in geological exploration has been growing in Kazakhstan recently. Over the past five years, these investments have risen by 2.5 times from $76.7 million in 2018 to $185.6 million in 2023.

«Over many years of oil, gas and solid mineral production in Kazakhstan, the country has obtained a pool of professional oilfield service and production companies that can easily compete with foreign suppliers,» the press service reported.

According to Zhumangarin, Kazakhstan wants to export its cars to Afghanistan and then open dealer centers to ensure owners of these vehicles will have access to relevant technical maintenance

The official also proposed increasing the number of educational grants for Afghani citizens from 30 to 60. On top of that, Zhumangarin has invited 30 Afghani children to spend ten days in summer camps in Kazakhstan.

During negotiations, the two countries also discussed the possibility of expanding internet traffic in Afghanistan from 60 to 100 gigabytes per second under the cooperation of Kazakhtelecom and Afghan Telecom. Furthermore, the two sides negotiated supplies of sunflower oil, grain and flour for more than $12 million. Afghani companies have also expressed their interest in purchasing motor oil from Kazakhstani suppliers. Kazakhstan has officially opened its trading house in Herat.

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