Global Witness reports that the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) may be profiting from mining activities in Afghanistan. The report provides an overview of the possible extractive activities that ISKP may be engaging in in Afghanistan, primarily mining of talc, chromite, precious and semi-precious stones, tourmaline, and possibly emeralds.
Prior to being taken over by ISKP, the mining sites had been held by the Taliban who profited from them, but did not mine them directly. While ISKP may be engaging in some mining activities in the area it controls, the group’s purpose may equally be to prevent the Taliban from profiting from the mines.If ISKP is mining these areas themselves, smuggling the resources out of the area will likely be one of their most significant challenges.
Analysis: There is little doubt that groups operating in Afghanistan will benefit from economic activity in their area of control, either by directly exploiting the resources themselves, or taxing their extraction.