Canadian Investment Supports Post-Combat Development in Afghanistan

(No. 360 - December 4, 2011 – 2:45 p.m. ET) Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today hailed a Canadian company’s winning bid for an important iron-ore mining contract in Afghanistan.

Kilo Goldmines, a Toronto-based company, has been awarded one of the four concession blocks of the Hajigak iron-ore deposit in Afghanistan’s Bamiyan province, as announced by the Afghan Ministry of Mines.

This major step forward in Afghanistan’s extractive industry development will help generate much-needed revenues and jobs, contributing to Afghan livelihoods and to the sustainability of the country’s economy.

“Afghanistan is blessed with vast natural resources, but its human history has sadly prevented it from turning that potential into prosperity,” said Minister Baird. “Canada will continue to support Afghanistan’s ambitions to develop its economy and become a regional hub for the trade and transit of goods and energy, to secure its territory, and to build a brighter future for the Afghan people.”

“Canada is strongly committed to helping Afghans rebuild their country, and this investment by Kilo Goldmines will create jobs and prosperity for Afghans and Canadians alike,” said Minister Fast. “As the first significant engagement of a Western firm in the Afghan mining sector, this project will enable hard-working Canadians from Canada’s world-class mining sector to help Afghanistan develop its mining infrastructure, which will lead to further growth and opportunities in both the Afghan and Canadian economies.”

Minister Baird will attend the International Conference on Afghanistan in Germany this week. For photos, audio and video, please visit Minister Baird Attends Security and Prosperity Conferences.

For more information on Canada’s 10-year and continuing involvement in Afghanistan, visit Canada’s Engagement in Afghanistan.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Chris Day
Director of Communications
Office of Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
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Rudy Husny
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
613-992-7332

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000
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