Punjab to tap into mines, mineral reserves

By APP
Published: July 3, 2014
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Iron recently discovered in the Chiniot region is now the site for the world’s top three companies, who have started mining there. PHOTO: FILE

Iron recently discovered in the Chiniot region is now the site for the world’s top three companies, who have started mining there. PHOTO: FILE

SIALKOT: The Punjab government will spend Rs1.42 billion on the exploration of potential mines and minerals in the province, said Punjab Minister for Minerals Chaudhry Sher Ali.

Talking to media during his visit to Ramazan Bazaars in Sialkot and Daska on Wednesday, Ali said the government assigned the work of searching, exploring, measuring and recovering minerals to a consortium of world’s three best companies. According to him, the project will be completed in the coming 18 months.

Local Members of the Provincial Assembly Chaudhry Arshad Warraich, Chaudhry Muhammad Ikram, Muhammad Asif Bajwa, Sialkot District Coordination Officer (DCO) Iftikhar Ali Sahu, General Secretary Pakistan Muslim League-N Sialkot District Shujaat Ali Pasha and Assistant Commissioner Daska Zulfiqar Ahmed Bhoon were also present.

Ali further added that Punjab was rich with natural resources but there was a dire need of search and exploration. The provincial minister said the country could get rid of the persisting energy crisis by ensuring maximum exploration and utilisation of natural resources and other alternative energy resources as well.

The 600-million ton reserves of fine quality iron recently discovered in the Chiniot region, worth $70 billion, is now the site for the world’s top three companies, who have started mining work there.

There are also reserves of iron ore in the Kalabagh region and the Punjab government has also started a project, costing Rs138 million at the moment, to get benefits of these reserves, Ali concluded.

Price maintained for relief of local community

The provincial minister inspected the Bazaars at Sialkot and Daska and directed the concerned officials to ensure the quality of daily use commodities, especially vegetables and fruits, and maintain their prices for providing maximum financial relief to the local people.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 3rd, 2014.

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Reader Comments (2)

  • just_someone
    Jul 3, 2014 - 4:10AM

    Just in early April 2014, a contract was signed with a Chinese firm to do a survey of the deposits.
    How can it be that in almost two months, they have a reliable estimate of the quantity and quality of the iron ore to have a 70 billion dollar value?

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  • Pessimist
    Jul 3, 2014 - 12:48PM

    The Iron Ore reserves are actually of low content Fe ranging from 30%-35%. These are not economically viable for mining. I wonder how the Government of Punjab is wasting its funds on exploring these. Global Iron Ore prices of 62% Fe are at their lowest ever now. Perhaps it is all a matter of ministers and their followers making “projects” with an intent of ill gotten monies.

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