YES, WE ARE, Just look at what we have, Iron ore
reserves not yet tapped, except for a small trickle from Dilbandin in
Balochistan which will be used by Pakistan Steel. Thanks to research
carried out by Institute of Materials Sciences & Research, Pakistan
Steel. Now closed. ( O' Daffodil we weep to see, you haste was away so
soon). This is the fate the research institutes meet here, Heavyweight
research advocates like Ex Minister of Science & Technology who
knows by heart figures on research done in Japan was founder Member of
the above Institute, never bothered to utter a word against the closure
of such an important Institute. Where as our neighbour is trying to make
Indian Institute of Technology as next to MIT here we are trying to bury
whatever little we have( unwept and unhonoured and unsung).
SOME OF THE IMPORTANT MINERALS ARE:
About 30 million tons of
proven and 100 million tons of probable reserves of iron ore, mainly in
Nokkundi area and the Chilghazi deposits northwest of Dalbandin, is
known from Balochistan. In addition to these, minor deposits of varying
grades and quantities have been found to occur in Chilghazi. The
potential of such ore bodies is expected to range between 100-500
million tons. Studies carried out at PCSIR and Royal Institute of
Technology, Sweden have shown that the Nokkundi iron deposits are
suitable for and sufficient to support small and medium sized steel
mills and furnaces. The potential deposit also occur in Chiniot,
Kalabagh and Pezu areas.
The deposits are found mostly in Hazara, Waziristan, Lasbella, Chaghai
and Zhob. Reserves are estimated to be between 0.5 - 1 million tons. The
Lasbella deposits are large enough for commercial exploitation. The
metal is an ingredient in the production of chemicals, ferromanganese
and aluminium alloys used in the shipbuilding and aircrafts industries .
Local Manganese Ores are buying utilized in Blast Furnace and sintering
plants of Pakistan steel to control Managanese contents in pig Iron.
Found in Chakdara and Kalat.
It is mainly used in steel industry. PCSIR has developed a process to
upgrade the chemical from 37% to the 98% grade, which finds use in the
production of industrially important hydrofluoric acid. Fluoride is used
as a flux in steel making, which also serves to regulate fluidity of
molten steel in converters. The ore does not have consistent chemistry
as such import continues.
MINERALS FOR FERRO ALLOYS
The mineral occur in Muslimbagh, Malakand, Waziristan, Dir and Swat.
Small and isolated deposits are located along the northern flank of
Raskoh Range and east of Serao River in the Chaghai and Kalat districts;
the Zhob valley deposits, however, are large. The ore is of
metallurgical grade and a few hundred tons of chemical grade ore, mainly
from a site near Muslim Bagh. The mineral has important applications
such as in the production of corrosion resistance steel, refractory
chrome bricks, chromium steel used in the making of projectiles and
armour plates, and in leather tanning. The ore, however, is mainly
exported as mined.
The potential deposits are indicated by geochemical studies in Malakand,
Besham and Lasbella and the Sara Salawat area of Zhob. The metal needs
detailed exploration as it is associated with ophiolites, which are
widely distributed in Pakistan.
MINERALS FOR BASE METALS
The Saindak deposits of copper occurs as a mineable copper ore which
also has exploitable quantities of gold, silver, pyrite, magnetite and
molybdenum. The ore is estimated to be 412 million tons having an in
situ integral mineral worth of over US$ 9 billion with the capacity of
generating annual revenue of US$ 55 million and 1300 direct and 11,000
indirect jobs. At the daily output of 12,600 tons, the Saindak mines can
yield per year 18000 tons of blister copper, 100,000 tons of mild steel
billets and 235,000 tons of sulphuric acid. Other bye-products from the
copper processing are silver and gold, respectively in quantities of 2.8
and 1.5 tons. Other copper deposits have also been identified from
Chaghai, Dir, Chitral and Swat may be larger in size and better in metal
grade than of Saindak.
Khuzdar, Lasbella and
Chaghai are known to have more than 34 deposits of lead-zinc. Though
there are many lead bearing minerals, only a few of these can be
commercially processed to yield lead. Duddar, Gunga and Surmai deposits
with the mineable ore have a potential of 5-30 million tons.
Stibnite and Boulangerite ores of antimony occur in Chitral. Small
amounts of antimony deposits are known from Qilla Abdullah and Quetta.
The metallic mineral is used in the manufacture of defense related
materials and marine signal lights.
PRECIOUS AND ECONOMIC MINERALS
GOLD & SILVER:
Good potential of gold and silver is indicated in Gilgit, Chitral and
Chagai by the geological exploration program of Australian Mineral
Potential of extensive deposition of good quality gemstones are found in
Pakistan. The Emerald, Ruby, Saphire, Topaz, Garnet, Opal are exported
as raw and cut stones by Pakistan. Industrial minerals of corundum,
quartz, abrasive almandine, olivine, etc. are used in advanced
TIN AND TUNGSTEN:
Mineralization of tin
and tungsten has been reported from North Chitral and in the quartz
porphyry stocks in a zone 3 km north of Saindak copper prospects in a
deposit site 2 km long and 400-500 meter wide.
MINERALS FOR CERAMICS INDUSTRIES
BAUXITE AND LATERITE:
Larger deposits of the ore are known from Ziarat, Loralai and Sibi,
whereas smaller deposits have been noted near Muslim Bagh, Zhob and
Lasbella, which collectively are around 15 million tons. Laterite is an
ore of aluminium, iron, nickel, titanium, silica and manganese. Due to
the high concentration of alumina, titania and iron oxide, the Ziarat
ore is of higher economic worth. Titanium oxide is a valuable input in
paint industry. Mineralogy, chemistry, utilization of the ore dealing
mainly with soda leaching and soda sintering, and feasibility of
reduction of roasting followed by leaching and chlorination for the
economic separation of alumina, titania and iron oxide have been
investigated by PCSIR. Bauxite minerals are reported from AK and Kala
Silai Patti area in Malakand is reported to contain anomalous quantities
of rare earth metals.
Work on Mineral needs to continue,. There is need to
carry out research and revive Institutes Like Institute of Materials
Sciences & Research. PCSIR to take energetic steps in carrying out
pilot studies. It's a long journey which will eventually make us rich.
KEEP ON WALKING