Dara-i-Souf coal mine revenues register 70% growth
Aibak, March 12, 2007 (Pajhwok Afghan News): The revenues from the Dara-i-Souf coal mine in the northern Samangan province have increased by 70 per cent compared to the last three years, engineer Nazar Mohammad, head of the mine told Pajhwok Afghan News.
He said the income in 2006 was 40 million Afghanis (Afs), whilst this year it increased to 69 million Afs.
He attributed the growth in revenue to increased production of coal and transparency in the procedure. Coal is primarily used here for heating as well as in the production of cement.
According to Nazar Mohammad, there are two big coal mines in Dara-i-Souf district, employing about 500 people and producing 115 tonnes of coal daily.
He said the coal extraction work was carried out by the private sector, which pays 1,400 Afghanis as tax for each ton.
He said the research launched in 1967 by Russian experts showed that there is over 150 million tonnes of coal in the two mines.
Dara-i-Souf is located 140 kilometres from Samangan city and access to the coalmines is made difficult by the fact that the roads are unpaved.
Abdul Haq Bakhshi, provincial governor of Samangan, said he expected that once the road was asphalted, the revenue from the coal mines would increase.
He also said that he had proposed a plan to President Karzai for the use of coal for generating power.
Coal mines have also been identified in Herat, Bamiyan, Baghlan and Takhar provinces.