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On the road to Qalamkar : the block seller of Kabul

By C. Mitchell and A. Benham

Abstract

In 2004 the British Geological Survey (BGS) embarked on a 3-year DfID (Department for International Development)funded institutional strengthening project at the Afghanistan Geological Survey. This project was designed to support the Afghan mineral industry through training and investment promotion. The BGS has supported the marble sector through investment promotion activities including the ‘Marbles of Afghanistan’ brochure and the Afghanistan Marble Promotion Showcase in Dubai, September 2007.\ud The marble industry is the largest and most commercially active part of the Afghan minerals sector and the Association of Marble and Granite Processors of Afghanistan (AMGPA) indicates that there are at least 130 factories producing marble across the country. Marble blocks in Afghanistan are usually produced alongside construction aggregate.Extraction is often carried out using gunpowder from surplus munitions, although more modern technology is\ud rough-hewn blocks to Pakistan from where it is re-imported back into Afghanistan as ‘Pakistani-made marble’ at a mark up of approximately 5:1.\ud The key requirements for improving the Afghan marble industry are investment in capital equipment and technical training. Plenty of organisations are ready to assist (although the use of an acronym dictionary is needed!). This paper gives an overview of the Afghan Marble Sector, describes the work carried out by the project to assist and promote the marble industry, and indicates progress made since 2004

Topics: Earth Sciences
Publisher: Extractive Industry Geology Conferences Ltd
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:13148

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