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Monday, February 20, 2012

Allegations surface with 'jewel' Afghan mining deal

Afghanistan's mineral wealth has long been seen as a potential source of income that could sustain the troubled nation after US-led international forces withdraw in 2014. Afghanistan has massive bills to pay — particularly the costs of 300,000 soldiers and police that US-led forces are training — but some US experts believe that the country's mineral sector could generate as much as $1 trillion in revenue. Jon Stephenson and Ali Safi report from Kabul for McClatchy Media.

An Afghan-American company that failed to win a multibillion-dollar contract to develop one of Afghanistan's most lucrative mines alleges that the bidding process was riddled with irregularities and that the winning bidders may not be able to meet production targets.

The claims, which were backed by a former senior Afghan mining official, suggest that a potential key source of revenue for the Afghan government — which will be saddled with massive bills after US forces withdraw from the country — could be in jeopardy....Continue Reading....

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