Ombudsman Javed Mahmood has directed the Mines and Minerals secretary to expedite iron mining in Chiniot and Faisalabad and submit a report.
Mehmood said that iron deposits were discovered in Chiniot and Faisalabad in 1969, but the excavation was still in its initial stages. “The country faces a minerals shortage…we need to exploit the reserves,” he said.
The ombudsman issued these orders on an application submitted by Muhammad Ghafoor, a resident of Jaranwala. He said that he had read that the provincial government did not have the resources to excavate the iron ore.
Ghafoor said that if this were true, the provincial government should ask the federal government to auction the work to another country or a mining firm.
The project to excavate iron ore in Chiniot and Faisalabad includes drilling, geological research and determination of the quantity and quality of the ore. Six companies have been shortlisted for this purpose.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 2nd, 2013.