LONDON, Jun 25, 2010 (Dow Jones Commodities News Select via Comtex) -- Afghanistan hopes an expanded rail network will attract investors to new tenders for copper, gold and iron ore, Afghanistan's mining minister said Friday.
In the next two months a railway between Mazar-e-Sharif in northern Afghanistan and the Uzbekistan border will be completed and further projects are about to begin.
A proposed link to Uzbekistan was awarded to the Uzbekistan railway company for $130 million, Wahidullah Shahrani said.
The Asia Development Bank is heading a consortium with international supporters, including the U.K. and U.S., to find funding for a larger rail network estimated to cost $4 billion, Shahrani said at a roadshow in London.
In the next four years, China Metallurgical Group Corp. will complete another rail network with one link connecting Kabul to the Pakistan border and another connecting it to Tajikistan at a cost of between $2.8 billion and $3.5 billion, he said.
It would cost another $35 million to $40 million for the Hajigak iron ore mine to be connected to the network, the minister said.
Iran's government is also helping to fund a railway from Iran to Herat Province in western Afghanistan, Shahrani said.