Posted March 24, 2018 12:03:24The global demand for silver has reached a peak, but the demand for gold has also risen sharply.
Gold miners, who mine the ore in the United States, Australia, China, and India, are facing a crisis.
The silver market has been on a roll since late last year, when the US Mint announced it was to sell a record $2.3 billion worth of silver bullion in an auction.
But gold demand in Afghanistan is currently flat.
“There is no silver bull market in Afghanistan,” said Mohamad, a miner who mines at the U.S. Silver Mine in the central province of Ghazni.
“We have no demand for this precious metal.”
Mohamad said the shortage of silver has forced him to stop mining altogether.
“It is really bad,” he said.
“It is not good for the economy and for us as well.”
Masharq Alvi, the head of Afghanistan’s National Mining Association, which has been fighting against the shortage, said the country’s gold and silver mining sector is struggling because of a shortage of the metal.
“The market is already suffering,” he told Al Jazeera.
“Our mines have become extremely expensive and this shortage of precious metals has forced us to halt operations.”
Gold miners, in particular, are struggling.
Alvi said he is currently working on his next mine.
“I have to build it on my own,” he explained.
“But, I will get started this week.”
Alvi said the government has allocated some $20 million for gold mining projects.
Gold is a key part of the economy.
“Without it, there is no gold,” he added.
“When we have money, we can buy whatever we want.”
Gold prices have slumped over the past few months.
In August, they hit a five-year low of $1,923.30 a pound, according to Bloomberg data.
Alvi also noted that the government’s recent efforts to promote tourism in the country, which includes a raft of economic incentives, have not worked.
“Tourism is very important for the government,” he pointed out.
Al Jazeera’s Zahra Bade, reporting from Kabul, said that the gold and Silver mines in Afghanistan, which were once home to thousands of people, have become too expensive to mine.”
And they don’t want to come to Afghanistan.”
Al Jazeera’s Zahra Bade, reporting from Kabul, said that the gold and Silver mines in Afghanistan, which were once home to thousands of people, have become too expensive to mine.
Bade said the price of gold, which is worth about $8,000 an ounce, has declined by around 30% since 2014.
“This is because of the high inflation rate in Afghanistan and the fact that the money is now being used for buying things instead of paying salaries,” she said.
Bades added that it is not only the mines that are struggling, but also other industries.
“A lot of small businesses are going bankrupt,” she added.
Al Jazeera and wire services