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Afghanistan Awards Tender For Major Copper Deposits

Afghanistan -- An archaeologist walks at the site of an ancient monastery discovered in Mes Aynak, in the eastern province of Logar, 23Nov2010
The Afghan government has awarded the license to develop a large copper deposit in the country's north to international consortium Afghan Gold and Minerals Company Ltd.

The Balkhab license area, which covers 500 square kilometers, is believed to contain more than 100 millions tons of copper and equivalents.

Talking to Dow Jones Newswires on January 12, the chairman of AGMC, Sadat Naderi, said that winning the government tender likely makes the company the largest mining group in the country.

Production is not expected to start for at least 18 months.

In May, the "Mining Journal" online described Afghan Gold and Minerals Company as "a consortium backed by City of London banker Ian Hannam, former BHP Billiton chief executive Chip Goodyear, Jan Kulczyk and Sadat Naderi."

AGMC won the tender to develop the Balkhab copper project, while its joint venture, the Turkish-Afghan Mining Company, won the tender to develop the Badakhshan gold project in mountainous terrain in northern Afghanistan.

AGMC is already developing a gold project in Baghlan Province that is close to production.

Based on reporting by and