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Afghanistan turmoil

Afghanistan's $6.5bn mine deals with China, others dig up questions

Taliban face feasibility and security doubts as regime aims to shore up economy

A new gold mine in Afghanistan's Takhar province is seen in a November 2010 file photo: The Taliban administration has awarded a $310 million contract for a gold mine spanning 12 square kilometers in the province to an Afghan-Chinese joint venture.   © Reuters

KARACHI -- An Afghan Taliban drive to stabilize the economy and improve sentiment toward the regime through new mining deals with Chinese and other companies is drawing skepticism.

Faced with international sanctions and a bleak economic outlook, the Taliban administration at the end of last month announced seven contracts worth $6.5 billion for the extraction and processing of gold, iron ore, lead and zinc across several provinces.

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