An insight into Mineral Sector

Minerals Sector of Pakistan

Engineering Post Report

Pakistan is endowed with   huge reserves of minerals  covering an  area of 600000 square kilometer due to its unique geological condition. Fortunately, Pakistan have been  blessed with all type of  rock  from pre-Cambrian  to recent with exceptional  geological and geomorphologic features.

There are as many as 92 known minerals out of which 52 are commercially exploited  throughout the country. These include coal, copper, gold, chromite,  mineral salt and several other minerals. Despite of all these huge resources  , the mineral sector is showing  slow performance and its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) remained at just 2.38 per cent during FY 2021.

The federal government is well aware of this hidden  treasure  and taking all  cognizant measures in this regard which included:

An investment facilitation project “ Establishment of National Mineral Data Centre” has since been launched at the federal level with Rs 295 million cost  for maintaining the data repository.

Another initiative has been taken called “Legal Consultancy Services” for drafting of  model mineral  agreements  and formulation of  uniform regulatory  regime at a cost of Rs 100 million for introducing  an internationally  competitive framework.

Action is also underway for revamping of Pakistan Mineral Development  Corporation (PMDC) and restructuring of Geological Survey of Pakistan (GSP).

Process of the stakeholders consultation  has also been initiated  for policy formulation  for promoting the use of indigenous coal resources  for synthesis of gas and liquid fuels.

Federal government has also  extended services  for special  development packages  to the provincial mineral  sectors.

Continued support is being maintained and extended to facilitate  smooth operation of mineral sector projects: Saindak Copper-Gold, Duddar Lead-Zinc, Barite-Lead Zinc , Chiniot Iron Ore and mining projects of rock salt and coal etc.

Although efforts are underway to  develop the mineral sector but enough  remains to be done  to enhance  the sector to fully exploit  the natural resources. This sector is lagging behind despite  its huge potential, due to interconnected and overlapping issues like poor regulatory  framework, insufficient infrastructure  at mines sites, outdated technology installed, semi-skilled labour, low financial  support and lack of marketing.

 There is a huge potential  in Pakistani mineral sector and establishment of Balochistan Mineral Exploration Company is indeed a great step  in  this development ladder and an encouraging sign  for global mining players  to invest in the Mineral Sector of Pakistan.

Extraction of principal minerals in the country include Coal, Natural Gas, Crude Oil, Chromite,  Magnesite,  Dolomite, Gypsum, Lime Stone, Rock Salt,  Sulphur,  Barytes,  Iron Ore, Soap Stone,  Marble, Bauxite, Quartz among several others.