Engineering Post Report
Balochistan is the largest province, area-wise, of the country constituting 43 per cent of the total national landmass. The country in general and the province in particular is endowed by the nature with substantial mineral wealth.
Mineral industry can play an important role in boosting up the socio-economic set up in Balochistan as agriculture in other parts of the country . But somehow due attention could not be given to the exploration and development of the mineral sector due to financial constraints, heavy risk investment and lack of infrastructure as the deposits are located in remote and far flung areas of the province.
However, efforts are being made for scientific exploration and exploitation of the mineral resources. The government has given prompt attention towards the development of minerals. Various national and multi-national companies are involved in exploration of gold, copper, precious metals and associated minerals in Chagai and other districts . Besides, the province also has large deposits of limestone, gypsum and coal (raw material for cement manufacturing) and investment opportunities for installation of cement factories are available in the province.
Major initiatives taken in the past few months regarding minerals development in the province are listed briefly below:
Balochistan Mineral Exploration Company Limited and Balochistan Minerals Resource Company Limited have since been established as a joint venture of the federal and provincial governments with 10 per cent and 90 per cent shares respectively. Main objective behind this major initiative, jointly by the federal and provincial governments, is to attract private investment and boosting the government revenue via large scale mining in the province.
PC-1 for the establishment of a full-fledged university in the field of minerals and natural resources, has also been approved which would be a milestone in the field of minerals. This will be, perhaps, the first university of its kind in the country. Furthermore, Geological Survey of Pakistan (GSP) has also been tasked with mapping 50 top sheets of outcrop area in order to identify minerals potential in Balochistan for which adequate funds have already been allocated under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) of the Federal Government. This initiative will help to maintain a database for future exploration of the occurrences of metallic and non-metallic minerals potential, dimension stones, aggregates and limestone reserves in the province.