The Sindh cabinet has passed the Sindh Mines and Minerals Governance Act 2021 and it will be forwarded to the Sindh Assembly for promulgation, announced Sindh Minister for Mines and Minerals Mir Shabbir Ali Bijarani.
Speaking to journalists at his office on Tuesday, he said that the act would help the government regulate the mining sector of Sindh and introduce a rigorous law for effective mining in the province.
“Sindh has several mines and huge mineral reserves that need to be tapped,” he told the journalists. “However, extraction of these precious metals and minerals poses risks, therefore, detailed guidelines are required.”
He pointed out that the act would help remove the bottlenecks that emerged due to policy issues and facilitate the growth of entire mining sector.
Bijarani highlighted that the Sindh Metalliferous Mines Act 2021 was approved by the Sindh cabinet to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for miners. He said that the law would also be forwarded to the Sindh Assembly for promulgation.
“The Sindh Mines and Minerals Development Department is also working on the granite mining policy, which is aimed at protecting the historical sites,” he said.
The minister added that all stakeholders had been taken on board while drafting the law.
“Thar is blessed with natural resources and it contains precious minerals such as granite, China clay, iron ore and fuller earth,” he said. “The Karoonjhar range of Thar is estimated to have 26 billion tons of granite.”
He added that a policy focusing on mining in Karoonjhar was in final stages.
He stated that Rs39.8 million had been allocated in the Annual Development Plan (ADP) to modernise the department through digital mapping of mining sites and computerisation of records of mining permits and leases.
“Sindh will become the first province of the country to conduct a study on all the minerals available in the province and create a detailed profile of precious, semi-precious and other minerals of economic importance,” he said.
“This study will determine the quality, quantity and location of available minerals.” He added that Rs240 million had been set aside in the ADP for this task.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2021.
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