In pics - Ancient Buddhist city in Afghanistan faces existential threat

Updated: Jun 22, 2022, 05:12 PM(IST)

The ancient Buddhist city of Mes Aynak in Afghanistan is facing a grave danger as a Chinese consortium look to work on one of the world's largest copper deposits.

Mes Aynak

Mes Anyak – which is considered to have a mixture of Hellenistic and Indian cultures – is roughly 1000 to 2000 years old and is well known for its trade of copper.

(Photograph:AFP)

Taliban initiative

The Taliban was looking for more sources of revenue when they came to power last year and they decided to allow companies to mine the copper reserves in the region instead of archaeological work.

(Photograph:AFP)

Chinese consortium

The ruins, which cover 1,000 hectares, are home to a huge copper reserve and the Chinese mining giant Metallurgical Group Corporation (MCC) signed a $3 billion contract to mine ore over 30 years.

(Photograph:AFP)

Major conflict

Fifteen years later, there is conflict between the Taliban and China over financial issues and without proper oversight, the region can face a lot of damage over the next few years.

(Photograph:AFP)

Archaeological Finds

The archaeological finds in the region need to be shifted before the Chinese create any new infrastructure and if the transfer is not completed soon, the mining can damage all the major findings.

(Photograph:AFP)

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