The Government of Afghanistan has awarded mining rights to Canadian and Indian firms for the development of blocks of the Hajigak iron ore concession in central Afghanistan.

According to the Ministry of Mines, the Hajigak deposit contains total estimated reserves of 1.8bn tons of iron ore, with 64%of iron concentration, reports Reuters.

The AFISCO consortium of Indian steel and mining firms, which is led by SAIL, has been allocated blocks B, C and D, while the Canadian firm Kilo Goldmines has received the rights for block D.

Block A is estimated to have iron ore reserves of 484million tons, with the blocks B and C having about 930 and 357 million tons respectively, and block D having small reserves.

The Ministry of Mines said along with the development of the Hajigak blocks, the firms will also provide support for development of railway, power and other infrastructure in the country.