Kolkata, Dec 5 : Afghanistan is likely to sign an agreement with a SAIL-led consortium in January 2013 to mine Hajigak iron ore in Bamiyan province after getting cabinet clearance.

"A delegation of SAIL (Steel Authority of India) will visit Afghanistan in mid-December this year. Remaining issues will be sorted out and the deal will be concluded. After that our cabinet will clear it and a concession agreement will be signed in January 2013," Afghanistan Mines Minister Wahidullah Shahrani told reporters here Wednesday.

Shahrani said about 90 percent of the issues have already been sorted out.

The consortium had won three blocks at the Hajigak iron ore mines in Bamiyan province in Afghanistan.

The Afghan minister was in the city to attend the International Mining and Machinery Conference (IMMC) organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

The Afghanistan mines ministry earlier had stated that SAIL-led AFISCO (Afghan Iron and Steel Consortium) risks losing mining licences in Afghanistan if it fails to meet production targets or fails to commence mining within six months of the licence being granted.

AFISCO consists of state-run majors, led by SAIL, NMDC and RINL, and private sector players like JSW Steel, JSW Ispat and Jindal Steel and Power Ltd.


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