Neglected potential of minerals

I am writing this letter to point out that like tourism, the minerals sector is another potential area that has not been explored so far in the country. Mineral resources of a country, if properly utilized and put to productive use, can play a vital role to stimulate economic growth. The US Mineral and Mining industry supports more than a million jobs.
Pakistan, too, has vast mineral resources and if properly explored and exploited can have a very positive contribution to the national economy. Large deposits of Iron ore occur in Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and KPK. Based on these deposits mini steel mills can be set up in all provinces. High-quality magnesite used for making special refractories is available at KPK and Balochistan. Quality bricks both magnesite and chrome magnesite which is very costly and presently imported can be produced within the country.
Pakistan has very large deposits of coals at Thar and sonda in Sindh, or range and degari in Balochistan. Coal apart from power generation can be used for coal gasification.
Coal gas can replace to some extent natural gas and can also be utilized for domestic and industrial/ commercial use. We have large deposits of high-quality barite in Balochistan, which can be used for the production of barium sulphate, barium carbonate and barium sulphide. Similarly, limestone and clays are also abundantly available in Pakistan, which can help set up cement factories from Karachi to Peshawar anywhere in Pakistan. Silica sand and quartz are available in Mianwali and Gigot, which are the basic raw materials for the production of solar cells and chips. Gypsum is available in large quantities at Daira Ghazi Khan and Adour Khail. Therefore, Gypsum plaster, Gypsum board, Gypsum blocks and Gypsum fertilizers can be produced locally. ­Everybody knows that deposits of copper and gold are located in Reko Diq Balochistan.
Tons of copper and gold can be produced annually if properly developed. All that we need is a strong will, hard work and proper planning. Mr Asad Umer and PM Imran Khan should take note of the mineral sources to get these utilized in the industrial development of the country. For this purpose, they should revive the mineral development organizations like GSP, PCSIR and PMDC by allocating adequate amounts of funds to accelerate the development of industrial minerals.

QAZI ABDUL WAHEED,
Karachi

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