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Chaos over the ownership of Lapis Minerals in Badakhshan finally ends

in Afghan Business

Chaos over the ownership of Lapis Minerals in Badakhshan finally ends

Two armed groups were fighting for three weeks in Keran Munjan district of Badakhshan over the control of Lapis-Lazuli in the district.  The war finally came to an end after the local security forces and members of Badakhshan High Peace Council mediated.  According the local police, 4 killed and several was injured as a result of the fighting.

Lapis lazuli has been mined in the Sar-e-Sang mines, located in the Kuran wa Munjan District of Badakhshan, for over 6,000 years. The mines were the largest and most well-known source in ancient times. Most recent mining activity has focused on lapis lazuli, with the proceeds from the lapis mines being used to fund Northern Alliance troops, and before that, anti-Soviet Mujahideen fighters.

Last year, Ministry of Mines decided to hand over the extraction activity of the mineral to the private sector, as the mineral was being extracted illegally. Officials in the Ministry said that unprofessional extraction of the mine by using explosives and cobalt blue tears causes the value of the mineral to drop globally, as it loses its qualities.

Recent geological surveys have indicated the location of other gemstone deposits, in particular rubies and emeralds. Exploitation of this mineral wealth could be key to the region’s prosperity.

Tags assigned to this article:
Afghanistan lapisBadakhshan

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