The Ministry of Mines of Afghanistan reported in mid-March it received a significant number of Expressions of Interest for the tender processes for four copper and gold exploration project areas located throughout the country. The deadline for the submissions was March 9.

The four projects included:

Badakhshan quartz vein gold project: The Badakshan project is situated in mountainous terrain in Badakhshan province in northeastern Afghanistan. Detailed work was conducted by the joint Soviet/Afghan geological program in the region in the 1960s. Badakshan is the largest and most studied of the known gold-bearing quartz veins systems in the region.

Zarkashan copper-gold skarn project: The Zarkashan project is located approximately 225 km south-southwest of Kabul in Ghazni province. The German Geological Survey conducted a survey in the mid-1960s, and the Soviets and the Afghanistan Geological Survey (AGS) conducted exploration in the late 1960s and early 1970s. There are many ancient open-pit and underground workings in the area. The grades obtained by the Soviet and AGS exploration team show that the skarn mineralization has a core of relatively high gold grades with a halo of lower grades.

Balkhab VMS copper project: The Balkhab project is located in Sar-I-Pul and Balkh provinces in north-central Afghanistan. There is evidence of surface and underground mining going back almost 3,000 years. Exploration was conducted during 1966-1972, consisting of mapping, trench and surface grab sampling, and analysis. Recent work on the prospect was initiated by the AGS at the request of villagers in the region. A sampling mission was carried out in 2008 by the Ministry of Mines.

Shaida porphyry copper project: The Shaida project is located in the Adraskan district of Herat province in western Afghanistan. During Soviet exploration in 1971 and 1972, several continuous drilled intervals of mineralization were identified, with copper grades between 0.10% and 0.80% in drill intervals ranging from 0.80 m to 17. 95 m.

More detailed information on these projects can be accessed on the Ministry of Mines website at