Afghanistan permits SAIL to develop Hajigak assets in phases

Afghanistan conveyed the SAIL-led team that it did not have any objections to the $10.8 billion iron ore and steel plant project being developed in phases in Hajigak Mine.

Where is Hajigak mine?

Hajigak Mine is the best known and largest iron oxide deposit in Afghanistan is located at Hajigak in Bamyan Province, it is also Asia’s biggest untapped iron ore deposits.The deposit itself stretches over 32 km and contains 16 separate zones, up to 5 km in length, 380 m wide and extending 550 m down dip, seven of which have been studied in detail. The ore occurs in both primary and oxidized states. The primary ore accounts for 80% of the deposit and consists of magnetite, pyrite and minor chalcopyrite. The remaining 20% is oxidized and consists of three hematitic ore types. 

Who is developing the Hajigak mining project?

The project is being developed by Afghan Iron and Steel Consortium (AIFSCO) which won the bid for the project in 2011. AIFSCO which consists of state-owned SAIL, RINL and NMDC is holding a combined 56%stake. The balance is held by private firms such as JSW, JSPL and Monnet Ispat & Energy.

AIFSCO will set up a steel plant of 1.25 mtpa and a 120 MW captive power plant with $2.9 billion investment. The investment is likely to be between $10 billion and $11 billion. It will be done in phases. Steel plant will be developed in phases and it will be of 7 mtpa size.  The local government would also allow the SAIL-led team to market its products in the neighbouring region. Afghanistan’s annual steel demand now stands at 1-1.5 mtpa. However, the demand would go up while rebuilding the war-torn nation.

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