The federal government, in view of the mineral potential of each province, plans to introduce numerous schemes during next year, aimed at enhancing exports and creating employment opportunities.
Apart from the ongoing scheme of capacity building and geophysical survey of sub-surface pre-Cambrian shield rocks, new schemes have been planned for Punjab including the construction of a road network to facilitate coal supply to a power plant at Pind-Dadan Khan, Jhelum district.
Province-wise official data has revealed on Friday that the resource potential of Punjab includes energy minerals, metallic minerals and industrial minerals. Other schemes focus on the identification of effective strategies to optimize coal production from coal mines in Salt Range/Trans Indus Range (Jehlum, Chakwal, Khushab and Mianwali district), Punjab and Rock Salt potential blocks delineation in Salt Range, Punjab.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), the total area is 74521 sq km out of which 70 per cent consists of mountains and rocks. The formation of these rocks contain huge prospects of different metallic/non-metallic minerals and various precious/semi-precious gemstones and other minerals.
It has vast mineral resources which are not being exploited to its full potential. Based on the exploration done so far, excellent prospects of findings and discovering other valuable deposits exist.
The major plans of Minerals Development Department include an establishment of new mines labour welfare dispensaries and water supply schemes in cluster of mine areas on need basis.
Others are to initiate work on the establishment of recreational centers for mine labourers in cluster of mine areas, continuation of the scheme titled ‘reimbursement of expenditure incurred on medical treatment of mine labourers’ throughout KPK for patients of cancer, tuberculosis, heart diseases, kidney transplantation, medical health and other chronic diseases and the continuation of awarding scholarships to the children of mine labourers.
Similarly in Sindh, the schemes are an appraisal of the newly-discovered coal resources of Badin Coal Field and its adjoining areas of southern Sindh. A drilling of two bore holes have been completed at a depth of 381.46 metres and 423 m, encountered coal seams at different depth from 342.54 m to 380.24 m, with accumulative thickness of coal, 6.17 m and 5.00 m respectively.
Core samples have been collected and their chemical analysis has completed while geological logging has been completed to drilled depth.
Moreover, Geological Survey of Pakistan has published the first ever geological map of Sindh. Since discovery of Thar coal field, several areas of Sindh have attained a significant importance in their stratigraphic settings and natural resources potential such as bentonite, granite and celestite etc.
Balochistan, having a major share in minerals being produced in Pakistan, constitutes about 42 per cent of the total national land mass.
The government of Balochistan is providing institutional arrangements but still there is dire a need for development of technologies for processing different indigenous ores to extract products of high commercial value which will bring socio-economic uplift and create job opportunities.
Presently, more than 51 metallic and non metallic minerals have been discovered in Balochistan, out of which 29 are being exploited including minerals such as chromite, copper, iron, lead, zinc, manganese, antimony and gold etc whereas the non-metallic include barite, fluorite, calcite, magnesite, granite, coal and dimension stone such as marble both onyx & ordinary, granite, gabbro basalt and dunite etc.