Kabul: China's mining company Metallurgical Corp of China (MCC) will open an office in Afghanistan's capital Kabul by the end of this month, local media reported citing officials as saying on Saturday.

Afghanistan possesses a vast amount of intact mines and natural resources, including lithium reserves, as well as other valuable resources.

China is eyeing nearly USD 1 trillion worth of untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover of the war-torn country.

Five Chinese companies obtained special visas and arrived in Afghanistan last year in November to conduct on-site inspections of potential lithium projects.

Esmatullah Burhan, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, said that the leadership of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) has assessed the agreement on Mes Aynak copper project and has found no problems, Ariana News reported.

Burhan said that mining at Mes Aynak in Logar province will begin soon.

Mes Aynak site holds 11.08 million tonnes of copper, according to MCC estimates.

Meanwhile, Afghan authorities said that China is interested in Afghanistan's mining sector more than any other country, Ariana News reported.

The Taliban took over Afghanistan after entering Kabul in August 2021, leading to the collapse of the Ashraf Ghani led government and mass evacuations.

For most of the 19th century, the Russian and British empires contended over Afghanistan in what was known as the Great Game. The geopolitical competition recognised the strategic position of Afghanistan, and its potential to influence South Asia.