"At Any Price We Will Take The Mines": The Islamic State, the Taliban and Afghanistan's White Talc Mountains
Islamic State is known to have vastly exploited natural resources in Iraq and Syria. In their latest report, Global Witness reveals how it appears to be turning its attention to Afghanistan, particularly the country’s talc mines.
Through interviews with informed sources and analysis of satellite imagery, Global Witness have exposed how talc mining has become a key strategic priority for the Islamic State in Afghanistan (IS-KP).
Access to talc mines is also a current source of conflict between the IS-KP and the Taliban – already estimated to be making around $300 million a year from Afghanistan’s mineral wealth - in the mineral-rich Nangarhar province.
Afghanistan’s mineral wealth mining sector should, and could, be used to fund development and government services. Yet as the story of talc shows, without immediate action the mining sector is far more likely to fuel more corruption and conflict.