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Shegal residents search for gold in Kunar River’s sand

9 Feb 2023 - 20:23
9 Feb 2023 - 20:23

ASADABAD (Pajhwok): Many people in the Shegal district of eastern Kunar province make a living by extracting gold from the Kunar river’s sand.

The gold hunters say some gold deposits may exist along the river because gold particles are found in the sand on the river’s banks in winter.

However, Mines and Petroleum Department officials say no survey has so far been conducted around the river in this regard.

Suliman, a 36-year-old resident of Shegal district, who was filtering sand collected from the river’s bed with his four brothers to find gold, said they sometimes found gold and sold it to meet family’s needs.

He said he had been involved in the gold panning in winter since long.

“People from Takhar, Badakhshan, Baghlan, Samangan and some other provinces would come here for many years in search of gold and we learned the technique from them how to find gold. When we are idle, we search for gold.”

He said they were able to find gold worth 500 to 800 afghanis a day to make a living. However, he said the gold panning was not profitable because 500 to 800 afghanis were not enough after a rigorous effort.

Another gold hunter, Tayyib, a resident of Karborai village, said water level in the Kunar River receded in winter and it provided a chance to people to search for gold.

He also believed there might be gold mines in the areas from where the river originated or lying on the river’s path and asked the government to survey the area.

He said if a gold deposit was found, it would be good for the country and the people.

Mines and Petroleum Department director Mohammad Sherin Haqqani told Pajhwok he had informed the central government that people living near the river were searching gold and it illustrated there might be mines nearby.

But he said no mine had been discovered during the previous regimes or now and no survey had been conducted in this regard.

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