Afghanistan publishes mining contracts in anti-graft fight [View all]
(Reuters) - Afghanistan's government released on Sunday the details of scores of mining and energy contracts, including a major Chinese deal, in an effort to counter rampant corruption and bribery of officials worrying resource investors and donors alike.
As the government finalises new laws designed to attract more foreign mining investment, officials made public 210 previously awarded contracts, including one signed in 2011 with China National Petroleum Corp to develop three oil and gas blocks in the Amu Darya basin.
Chinese and Indian companies are already scrambling to access to Afghanistan's estimated $1 trillion worth of untapped mineral wealth. The country has large deposits of gold, copper, iron ore and oil, as well as lithium and rare earths used in high-tech manufacturing.
Chinese firms are leading the race, with China Metallurgical Group (MCC) and Jiangxi Copper winning a 2007 deal to exploit the giant $3 billion Aynak copper mine southeast of the capital Kabul.