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  ECONOMY WATCH

By SYED ATIF ALI
Dec 26 - Jan 01, 2006

MINERAL SECTOR

Pakistan is the country which contains mountains, deserts, fertile land, forests and precious stones with mineral sector having great potential. There is a mineral wing to promote and discover the reservoirs of mineral and precious stones. The mineral wing is responsible to issue Geological Survey of Pakistan (GSP) and maps. As mineral industry of Pakistan have great potential, President of Pakistan approved the strategy plan to promote it.

The GSP has shown remarkable performance in their publication of geological, geophysical and geochemical data and maps of Pakistan. With all that it provides data to potential investors and also highlights the undertaken joint projects and to establish the geo data center of Pakistan in which it collects, stores and updates the data.

In GSP there are 144 geologists, of which 9 are Ph.D. ,3 M.Phil., 18 Geophysits; 21 chemists, of which 2 are M.Phil., 11 photo-grammetry and 25 drilling engineers. GSP's budget for 2004-05 for regular activities is Rs. 163.013 million and for development activities Rs. 118.559 million.

Pakistan used to produce 5 minerals at the time of independence including chromites, sulphur and coal being mined in Balochistan.

Now Pakistan is producing 40 minerals, of which 20 are found in Balochistan - all discovered or explored by GSP. Pakistan has discovered metals, non-metals, clays, chemical, fertilizer and industrial minerals. A large reserve has been found and annual production in metrictonnes of agglomerate 366, granite 5,676, clays 2,934,218, barite 26,002, dolomite 276,668, gypsum 384,513, besides limestone, rock salt and coal. Chromite, ebry stone, China clay, fire clay, brine, calcite, ochres/red oxides, quartzite, soapstone constitute medium size reserves. Pakistan has vast reserves of coal, natural gas, crude oil and uranium.

Large deposits of copper and small to medium deposits of gold, zinc and lead in balochistan are expected to explored in 3 years.

There are many gems and precious stones found in N.W.F.P., AJ&K and Northern Areas. President of Pakistan has approved Rs.100million strategy project. The main aim of the project is to impart training in surface and underground mining, scientific mining and processing. Azad Kashmir (AK) Mineral Development Corporation has trained 50 persons in mining of Ruby. NWFP has set up field camps in Saidu Sharif, Distt. Swat & Chitral and started training courses in mining and processing field. The governments of AJ&K and Northern Areas are also working on the establishment of training center at Muzaffarabad and Gilgit in polishing and cutting of gemstones on scientific lines.

There is great potential in the mineral sector of Pakistan with 185 billion tones coal reserves in Sindh, large reserves of rock salt, low grade iron ore at Kalabagh, besides chemical grade limestone, gypsum, clay, copper, gold, low grade iron ore and coal are also found in large reserves. Un-exhaustible reserves of hard granite-basalt and soft marble are found in all provinces in different colors and shades.

There are so many foreign companies investing in the country's mining sector. Saindak copper gold project has been leased to MCC of China, which has exported 15373.47 million tones of blister copper; 1.5 tons gold and 2.07 tones silver worth US$65 million during 2004-05. Tethyan Copper Company Limited (TCCL) of Australia plans to invest about US$200 million in District Chagai Balochistan. Balochistan, PMDC and UNDP jointly discover reserve in Duddar. It contains 8.6% zinc and 3.2% lead. MCC of China signed an agreement to invest 72 million dollars in Duddar. M/s Shenhua has prepared a report about the 600MW power generation plant in Thar, Sindh.

Above mentioned facts and figures about the mineral sector of Pakistan show great opportunities of investment in this sector. The government also takes care of the private sector in mining. They regulate the small investors and private firms due to high risk. Government also facilitating foreign investors by exempting 15% sales tax for machineries and equipment. Government also levied 5% custom duty on the import of machinery and equipment. The Government, however, has to further develop the mineral department to promote the country's mineral sector. As mining got high risk, government has to give compensation in the form of royalty. Government also needs to increase support for mineral sector.

MINERAL FOUND IN PAKISTAN AND DATA

MINERAL

RESERVE SIZE

Antimony

Small

Chromite

Small to Medium

Iron ore

-do-

Manganese

Small

Agglomerate

Large

Aragonite/Marble

-do-

Building stone

-do-

Conglomerate

-do-

Ebry stone

Medium

Granite

Large

Onyx marble

-do-

Ordinary stone

-do-

Sandstone

-do-

Serpentine

-do-

Slate stone

-do-

Ball clay

Small

China clay

Small to Medium

Clays *

Large

Fire clay

Medium

Asbestos

Small

Barite

Large

Bauxite

Small

Brine

Medium

Calcite

Small to Medium

Celestite

Small

Dolomite

Large

Feldspar

Small

Fluorite

-do-

Gypsum

Large

Lake salt

Small

Laterite

-do-

Limestone

Large

Magnesite

-do-

Millstone

Small

Nepheline Syenite

-do-

Ochres / Red oxides **

Medium

Orpiment

Small

Phosphate

-do-

Pumice

-do-

Quartz

-do-

Quartzite

Small to medium

Rock salt

Large

Silica sand

-do-

Soapstone

Medium to large

Sulphur

Small

Talc stone (Talc)

-do-

Coal

Large

 


GEMS AND PRECIOUS STONES FOUND IN PAKISTAN

S.NO.

NAME

S.NO.

NAME

S.NO.

NAME

1

Actinolite

11

Hessonite

21

Rodingite

2

Agate

12

Idocrase

22

Rutile

3

Aquamarine

13

Jadeite

23

Ruby

4

Amazonite

14

Kunzite

24

Serpentine

5

Azurite

15

Kyanite

25

Spessartine (garnet)

6

Beryl

16

Marganite

26

Spinel

7

Emerald

17

Moonstone

27

Topaz

8

Epidote

18

Pargasite

28

Tourmaline

9

Garnet (alamandine)

19

Peridot

29

Turquoise

10

Garnet (green, grossular)

20

Quartz (citrin & others)

30

Vesuvianite

 
 

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