AINAK-6420.jpg by jeromestarkey on Flickr.

The Chinese state owned mining company MCC have built a camp at Mes Ainak, 35km south of Kabul, while archeologists are racing to excavate a series of ancient Buddhist monasteries before the bulldozers roll in. The Afghan government is desperate for the copper royalites, once mining starts, but officials familiar with the deal said the Chinise, having secured the rights to the deposit, appear to be in no hurry to start exploiting it. They are supposed to build a railway and a power station, but have not started either.

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