The Islamic State is using the proceeds of its illegal talc mining operations to fund conflict, according to a report published by Bloomberg.
A report published by Global Witness this week, per Bloomberg, suggests that the Taliban earns between US$2.5 million and US$10 million per year from its talc mining activities in Afghanistan, the majority of which is smuggled out to Pakistan before being shipped to other markets.
“The vast majority of minerals from insurgent-controlled mines in Nangarhar openly goes through government-held territory on the main roads to Pakistan,” Nick Donovan, Campaign Director at Global Witness told Bloomberg. “It is all but certain that individuals and companies in China, Europe and the US are effectively, if inadvertently, funding insurgent groups.”
Bloomberg suggests that the US has piled hundreds of millions of dollars into supporting mineral resource development in Afghanistan but its attempts have been largely thwarted by lack of infrastructure, poor security and weak governance.