ISLAMABAD: Mineral exploitation contributes only 1% of Gross Domestic Product, which indicates that this sector has been neglected for too long, said officials while speaking to the media on Friday.
Pakistan is generally considered to be rich in mineral resources, but the development of these resources has been limited to some quarries producing industrial minerals of limestone, rock salt, marble, gypsum and a modest amount of coal for power generation. In order to fully harness available potential, the implementation of the ‘National Minerals Policy 1995’ needs to be seriously pursued, official sources said.
Long-term efforts are required for mapping and interpreting the geology of the related areas, setting standards and undertaking contracted aeromagnetic, geo-chemical and airborne radiometric surveys, conducting national mapping programmes of the earth’s gravitational and magnetic fields.
“There is need to work out ways and means for the involvement of multinationals and removal of all barriers in this regard”, said an official, but hastened to add that “the export of unprocessed ore is to be avoided at all costs, since the by-products and other precious rare-earth minerals are lost without any accounting.”
Expertise on the nature and origin of national mineral deposits including the development of innovative exploration guidelines, techniques and technologies and providing expert knowledge and information on natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes and magnetic storms in related areas also needs to be developed, the official said.
Serious efforts are required to develop cost efficient and clean coal technologies for harnessing the huge reserves of coal for use in the power sector.
There is a need to develop technologies for processing different indigenous ores to extract products of high commercial value, to support relevant national and provincial departments and agencies responsible for harnessing the mineral sector including coal, ore and gas, said the official.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2013.
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