What's new

Pakistan Mining Updates


Mar 21, 2007
Reaction score
United States
PMDC produced 1.59MT coal in 3 years

ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation (PMDC) has produced around 1.59 megatonne coal and 4.07 megatonne salt from its mines operating in different parts of the country during the last three years. "The corporation produced 1,313,494 tonnes salt in the year 2013-14, 1,330,009 tonnes in 2014-15 and 1,433,152 tonnes in 2015-16 from Khewra, Makrach, Warcha, Kalabagh and Jatta/B Khel salt mines," official sources told APP. –APP

While, coal production from Sor-Range, Degari, Sharigh and Lakhra mines stood at 527,453 tonnes in the fiscal year 2013-14, 514,469 tonnes in 2014-15 and 557,950 tonnes in 2015-16, they added. Replying to a question, the sources said the corporation was in process of installing salt grinding plants at Warcha Salt Mines for production of powdered salt and iodised table salt. It is also establishing plants for production of Gypsum powder and Plaster of Paris for domestic sale and export.
Reku Dik Mines

PASDEC offers support for granite, marble sector of Sindh

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Stone Development Company (PASDEC) has offered its assistance to develop granite and marble sector in Sindh. PASDEC Chief Executive Officer Zahid Maqsood Sheikh offered array of projects of marble and granite to the Sindh government. While giving a presentation to Minerals Minister Sohail Anwar Khan Sial on marble and granite sector development, he said these projects will have a long lasting effect on provincial exports in particular and the country in general. He highlighted the potential of dimensional stone sector of the province and said that PASDEC has expertise in the development of marble and granite sector of over a decade which the company is ready to offer.

Zahid also brought up the matter of development of Marble City at Karachi to channelise industrialisation and encourage investment in Sindh. While discussing the matter of access to finance for the marble and granite sector, the PASDEC CEO suggested the minister to take up the said matter with the Bank of Sindh, so that the genuine financial needs of the sector are met, especially the BMR which can enable the stakeholders to compete with the international market.

Mineral-Rich Balochistan – Serious Efforts Required To Reaping Large Profits

Balochistan is blessed with strategic mineral resources. There is hardly a mineral which is not found in the province. Serious efforts are still required to explore and exploit the mineral endowments of the province. Reko Diq in district Chagai is the fifth largest copper ore reserve in the world. Though the actual size of Reko Diq deposits in Chagai district is yet to be confirmed, yet the experts believe that it is bigger than Sarcheshmeh in Iranian province of Kerman and Escondida in Chile. Reko Diq includes the Tanjeel mineral resource and the western porphyries. Tanjeel resource is estimated at 128.8 million tons. The western porphyries, the four adjacent porphyry bodies with medium to long term potential, is the core resource of Reko Diq mine. The inferred resource for the western porphyries has been calculated at 729 million tons with a copper grade of 0.64 percent and a gold grade of 0.39 grams per ton. A further 14 mineralized porphyry bodies are known to exist, with the potential to place the Reko Diq Project among the largest undeveloped copper resources on the globe. The TCC had estimated annual production 200 to 500 million copper tonnes from the project. Saindak project in Chagai district contains ore reserves of 412 million tons. Under a formal contract worth $350 million, the MCC of China acquired the Saindak project on lease for the period of ten years in September 2002. Since 2004, Chinese are extracting copper and gold from Saindak mine with an estimated life of 19 years.

Balochistan is rich in zinc and lead resources. So far thirty prospects of Zinc-Lead mineralizations have been located in Lasbela and Khuzdar districts. In these districts, three significant deposits of zinc and lead have been evaluated at Duddar, Gunga and the Surmai. The estimated reserves at Duddar are 14 million tonnes, Gunga 18 million tonnes and the Surmai 3 million tonnes. At present, Pakistan has to import lead and zinc to meet its domestic needs. It is expected the country would soon be an important producer and exporter of zinc and lead after development of thirty prospects of Zinc-Lead mineralizations in the Lasbela and Khuzdar districts and mining of significant deposits of these minerals at Gunga and Surmai.

Pakistan and China had signed a Memorandum of Understanding in March 2002 for the Duddhar Lead & Zinc Project. A Chinese company launched the Duddar project in April 2005. The project has mining and concentrating capacity of 660,000 tons a year. Once completed, the mine will be able to enhance its production to 100,354 tonnes of zinc concentrate and 32,584 tonnes of lead concentrate annually.

The province is endowed with huge reserves of chromite. First discovery was made in 1901 at Muslim Bagh and Khanozai in district Kila Saifullah. Other occurrences of chromite include those of the Ras Koh Range in western Balochistan and Wad deposits of Khuzdar district. Zhob deposits were first discovered by Vredenburg in 1901 during the course of regional reconnaissance mapping of the province. Chromite deposits are characterized by variable sizes and forms. The ore bodies are generally small and average 5,000 to 10,000 tonnes. In Wad area, chromite is lumpy in nature and of high quality.

Chromite is the critical ore, which is used in manufacture of strategic materials. It’s wide-range of uses in metallurgical, chemical and refractory industries today, have enhanced its importance as one of the essential element of modern industry. Stainless steel industry is the major consumer of chromite. The imports of various value added products such as basic refractories, metallurgical products and chromite chemicals far exceeds the earnings from the exports of raw materials.

Balochistan possesses huge reserves of coal at Hamai, Degari, Mach, Ziarat, Chamalang and Abegum. The estimated reserves of all coal fields in the province are 217 million tonnes. Coal is the cheapest source of thermal energy used in industrial sector. It has the potential to replace other expensive fuels such as furnace oil. Unfortunately, Pakistan Steel is still importing coal from foreign countries, which cost the country Rs.6000-10000 a tonne.

It is generally argued that it is not feasible for Pakistan Steel to use Balochistan coal with larger sulphur content, as sulphur gets accumulated in different parts of the boiler. Raw coal contains different impurities like sulphur, calcite, clay, rock and shale. This impure coal cannot be utilized in the industry hence impurities must be washed out. For saving energy and cost, there is a need to set up coal washing plants in the province. Presently, bricks makers utilize over 80 percent of the local coal and the rest are being consumed by cement makers to blend it with the imported coal to reduce the cost of production.

It would be cost-effective for Pakistan Steel to mix the cheap local coal with the imported one. The quality of Chamalang coal is better than the rest of coal being mined from different coalfields in Balochistan. Pakistan Steel should buy Chamalang coal.

The iron ore deposits are found at Dilband, Chilghazi, Lasbella, Nokkundi and other areas of district Chagai in the province. Recently discovered Iron ore deposits at Dilband in Mastung district of Balochistan are considered the country’s first ever economically exploitable deposits. According to an estimate, Dilband resource of over 200 million tonnes of iron ore contains between 30 to 40 per cent iron. It is substantial iron ore deposit is bound to play an important role in future industrialization and economic development of the country.

Marble is the most valued mineral bestowed by nature upon Balochistan. Commercial marble occurs at a number of localities in Lasbela, Khuzdar and Chaghi districts of the province. Commercial marble is defined as “any crystalline rock capable of taking a polish and suitable for decorative and structural purposes”.

Marble is largely used in construction and handicrafts sectors. Amongst the building stones, marble occupies a unique position. Since time immemorial, marble has been used in temples, mosques, palaces, monuments etc. as an ornamental and decorative stone because of its pleasing colors, attractive patterns and designs. Marble slabs and handicrafts have great demand in national and international market.

Disorganized and mismanaged scheme of the things, poor technology and shy investment in marble sector are the main reasons for low growth in this sector in Pakistan. The sector needs to be organized on modern lines in the country. The induction of modern technology in marble sector will increase efficiency of processing units.

Marble in Chaghi district is of onyx variety and is being mined since 1950’s. The term ‘onyx’ signifies a banded variety of quartz, highly prized as an ornamental stone.

For its vast applications and uses, onyx marble has great demand in the international market. The onyx marble from Chaghi can meet the international standards and needs if it is processed efficiently. The efficiency of marble processing industry depends on the quarry products.
Salt mounds, Dhabeji,



QUETTA: A research and investment Chinese company — MCC Tongsin Resources Ltd — has expressed its keen interest in developing the mineral sector of Balochistan.

In a meeting with Chief Minister Jam Mir Kamal Khan Alyani on Wednesday, the MCC Tongsin President Wang Jincheng offered to explore natural resources of the province.

He informed the chief minister that his company has merged with the Chinese firm working on the Saindak project.

He asked the provincial government to allow the company so it could expand Saindak project that would increase jobs opportunities for local people and beneficial for the provincial economy.

“Our company has been working to explore minerals in various countries and owns assets worth $50 billion worldwide,” he said, adding that MCC will recommend the Chinese government to include establishing a mineral park in Balochistan. He also offered to provide assistance to the provincial mineral department in preparing a minister database.

Managing Director Saindak Metal Limited Raziq Sanjrani, Humayun Mehmood of MMC, Secretary Mines and Minerals Balochistan and other concerned officials were also present during the meeting.

Chief Minister Jam Kamal lauding the interest of MCC Tongsin in Balochistan’s mineral sector, said that the relations between Pakistan and China are getting stronger with each passing day. The people of Pakistan applaud the efforts of the Chinese government in supporting development here.

“Unfortunately despite having sufficient natural resources, the sector suffers due to lack of appropriate planning to explore and develop our natural resources,” Jam Kamal added. He added that the Chinese company must share some effective plans for Balochistan’s mineral development and assured the MMC president of his government’s full support in this regard.

Discussing security challenges for Chinese companies and engineers in the province, the chief minister further assured the delegation that security measure across the CPEC routes are safe as our law enforcement agencies, including the army, FC, police and Levis have been safeguarding the CPEC development projects.
Natural Stones from Pakistan

Ziarat White Tiles
Type : Marble
Origin : Ziarat, Pakistan
Available Thickness : 2cm
Available Finishes : Polished
Perfect for : Flooring, Stairs, Countertops

Pakistan’s Gemstones: An Overview

Pakistan is home to many varieties of minerals, some of which make it prominent in the mineral world, such as peridot, aquamarine, topaz (various colours: violet and pink, golden and champagne), ruby, emerald, rare-earth minerals bastnaesite and xenotime, sphene, tourmaline, and many varieties and types of quartz.


Sphene. Northern Areas, Pakistan, 3.4 cm high. (Photo: Jeffrey Scovil; Gem: Bill Larson Collection)
Pakistan shares a long and porous border (2430 km) with Afghanistan. This has effectively resulted in a full influx of all types of Afghan minerals into Pakistan, from which they are traded. Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar serves as the first, direct, and only market for all minerals found in both these countries since 1979, after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Before the invasion, Pakistan’s only port city of Karachi held the bigger market of gem minerals (only facet rough and gems) in Pakistan. Following Peshawar’s rise in prominence, Karachi’s significance and role in gem minerals was reduced to those of little significance.

A Brief History of the Mining and Business of Gemstones in Pakistan

Pakistan came into existence in 1947 after partition of the subcontinent. A review of its history before the British rule reveals that its people and kings cherished gemstones highly. The relics of the Gandhara and Indus civilisations are a testimony to this fact. After its founding, Pakistan has given little, if not negligent, attention to this sector.

Gemstones Corporation of Pakistan was established in 1979 to effectively explore Pakistan’s own share of wealth in minerals and to facilitate gemstone mining and business in Pakistan. It had some valuable influence but ultimately was liquidated in 1997 and hence abandoned. There are two bodies now working for the welfare and growth of this industry in Pakistan: Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (formerly Export Promotion Bureau) and All Pakistan Commercial Exporters Association of Rough & Un-Polished Precious & Semi Precious Stones (APCEA). Since 1994, the annual Pakistan Gems and Mineral Show has been held in Peshawar with their joint collaboration, during four days in October. It has not as yet, however, attracted any potential buyers from abroad. Its few stalls on display cannot fulfill any of the requisite needs of experienced buyers from abroad, especially the USA and Europe.


Spessartine. Northern Areas, Pakistan, 5.0 cm high. (Photo: Jeffrey Scovil; Gem: Bill Larson Collection)
The northern and northwestern parts of Pakistan are shrouded by the three world-famous ranges called Hindukush, Himalaya, and Karakorum. In these mountains have been found nearly all the minerals Pakistan currently offers to the world market, including aquamarine, topaz, peridot, ruby, emerald, amethyst, morganite, zoisite, spinel, sphene, and tourmaline.

The question arises as to how these were explored: by the very people living in and beside the hills and not as a result of any government involvement or support, a fact that the government of Pakistan cannot refute. In the industrial minerals sector, of course, the government-owned mining corporation is effective and has been of great help to local investors. Pakistan, through its one body, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, has always recruited foreign investment in mining precious and semi-precious stones in Pakistan. But the rhetoric of the ministry is so inadequate and ineffective that no influential mining venture by any foreign institutes or individuals has taken place. One significant reason is the reputation for unreliability in the survey/analysis reports conducted by any government-sponsored institute in Pakistan.

Moving Forward

Pakistan must look into this situation very seriously. It can conduct such surveys by any reputable/foreign-based institutes to attract foreign investors in this sector. But the locals who have ever ventured into such activity have only stories of failure to tell.

In industrial mining, lease by provincial/local government exists, and in the case of precious/semi-precious stones it has been observed in emerald (Swat, Frontier Province), ruby (Pakistan’s Kashmir), and topaz (Katlung, Mardan District, Frontier Province), but has resulted in loss and/or failure for venturers.


Beryl: Northern Areas, Pakistan, 9.3 cm high. (Photo: Jeffrey Scovil; Gem: Bill Larson Collection)
It is important to stress here that the non-professional residents of mining areas are actually the ones who mine these jewels of earth in their hazardous, traditional way of mining. They usually form groups that initiate diggings and blastings, distributing the costs that may incur during the mining period. This process is something that the Government of Pakistan has failed to control or investigate. The resulting product is compromised in terms of quality and quantity. Mining ventures in precious and semi-precious stones are uncontrollable in Pakistan because they are undertaken by its people without any permission, support, or guidance from the government.

Pakistan, based on its potential in mineral wealth, can become a great hub of the gemstone industry, on a scale comparable to that of Brazil, provided it takes a few essential, locally effective steps that can enhance the exploration of resources and growth of business. The most useful step: full and supportive involvement of the government with its own people as well as the foreigners involved in this industry. The establishment by Pakistan of the Gems and Gemological Institute, in Peshawar in 2001, is an investment that ultimately will bear fruit.

Mining Areas

The few potential/major gemstone mining areas in Pakistan are: (only major gemstones yielded are mentioned)

KP Province

  • Swat (Malakand division) – Emerald, various types of quartz, and epidote
  • Dir (Malakand division) – Corundum and quartz
  • Mansehra (Hazara division) – Corundum and smoky quartz
  • Kohistan (Hazara division) – Peridot
  • Peshawar district (Frontier province) – Quartz with astrophyllite/reibeckite fiber inclusions, xenotime, and bastnaesite
  • Mohmand Agency – Emerald, clinozoisite, sphene, and epidote
  • Bajaur Agency – Emerald, garnet, and orange-colour scapolite
  • Khyber Agency – Quartz with astrophyllite/reibeckite fibers inclusions, xenotime, and bastnaesite
  • North and South Waziristan Agencies – Faden quartz, diamond quartz, phantom quartz, chlorite-included quartz, and window quartz

Northern Areas

  • Chilas (Diamer district) – Alluvial diopside, zircon, rutile quartz, aquamarine, and tourmaline
  • Gilgi , Hunza, and Shigar (Gilgit district) – Aquamarine, topaz (golden and white), emerald (new find), ruby, pollucite, rutile quartz, morganite, apatite, spinel, and pargasite
  • Shengus, Stak Nala, and Tormiq Nala (Baltistan Skardu Road, Baltistan district) – Aquamarine, topaz, tourmaline, apatite, sphene, morganite, and quartz
  • Shigar Proper (near Skardu, Baltistan district) – Apatite, zoisite, rutile quartz, epidote, and morganite
  • Childee, Kashmal, and Yuno (Shigar area, near Skardu, Baltistan district) – Aquamarine, emerald-colour tourmaline, apatite, morganite, topaz, and quartz
  • Hyderabad, Testun, Dassu, Net Tahirabad, and Goyungo (Shigar area, Baltistan district) – Topaz (best golden colour here), aquamarine, tourmaline, morganite, rare earth minerals, apatite, quartz, and new find emerald
  • Appu Aligund, Fuljo, Braldu, Bashu, and Karma (Baltistan district) – Tourmaline, aquamarine, garnets,diopside, ruby, pargasite, emerald, topaz, amethyst, scheelite, and quartz
  • Khappalu and near Siachin area (Gaanshai area, Baltistan district) – Aquamarine, amethyst, and fine golden rutile quartz

Baluchistan Province

  • Kharan district – Brookite, anatase, and quartz
  • Chaman (near Quetta) – Diamond quartz, window quartz, quartz on prehnite-base, and faden quartz included by chlorite
ISLAMABAD: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government is pressing ahead with its plan of establishing a marble city in Buner and is currently engaged in the process of acquiring 1,615 kanals of land at a cost of Rs 745 million. K-P Economic Zones Development and Management Company has been assigned the task.

Sources at the Industries and Production Division pointed out that in order to facilitate transportation of marble in the Buner district, the government had constructed a 6km road at a cost of Rs 27.2 million.

Among potential marble-bearing areas, the Buner district is believed to be the largest marble producing area with estimated potential exceeding 1,700 million tons. The Ministry of Industries has also established a company for value chain development in the marble sector.
Salt Mining
Pakistan is the proud host of 800-million-year-old mines that hold over 10 billion tonnes of deposits. Stretched for 209 kilometres between Jhelum and Indus rivers, the salt range produces two to four million tonnes of rock salt annually, depending on demand and market variables.

Up to half a million tonnes of sea salt further enhances the production figure. With the addition of largely undocumented lake salt, Pakistan becomes one of the few countries that are bestowed with all three sources of salt.

However, despite these imposing production figures and extraordinary deposits, the country has not been able to fully exploit its salt potential, particularly in the export sector. The Netherlands topped the exporters’ list in 2017 with $280m, followed by Belgium at the bottom tenth with $85m. With the exports of $50m, Pakistan was placed on the list of emerging countries.

The global market may not have much demand for table salt, but the commodity’s use in industrial and beauty segments has a lot of promise that Pakistan should explore

Exporters say that annual global demand for quality salt is around 270m tonnes. China alone needs well over 60m tonnes and, despite being a huge producer, faces a shortfall of around 10m tonnes. If Pakistan can somehow meet only the Chinese shortfall, which it easily can because of its geographical proximity, the country can multiply its export figure.

Salt exporter from Lahore Suhail Ikram thinks that Pakistan can enhance its exports by ensuring the right kind of policy and operational environment. The industry faces three problems at the domestic level: one, poor electricity supply hinders the entire grinding and value addition process. Manufacturers produce salt lamps, tiles and a range of other products, which have a huge market in the world. Consistent supply of electricity is crucial for that, they say.

Two, the mining process poses twin problems: poor supply of explosives and seasonal rainwater that inundates mines occasionally, stopping the entire operation. With growing terrorism in the country for the past decade and a half, law enforcement agencies became extremely vigilant against explosives trade. All mines are now required to keep, update and furnish data of the purchase and consumption of explosives. Although the salt mining industry uses only black powder — a low intensity material normally used for fireworks — its supplies are often affected, which hurt mining operations.

Three, erratic weather producing untimely rains further complicates the situation by keeping mines and miners idle for weeks. If the government can help smooth away these problems, the industry can certainly make another few hundred million every year, Mr Ikram claimed.

As for salt exports, trader from Sargodha Suhail Ahmad says that all mines that are in operation were developed before Pakistan came into being. They have largely lost touch with the changing realities of the global market. The world aesthetics now demand coloured, especially dark shade, salt gadgets for home decor,” he said.
Cement exports surge 32.4pc in 6 months

The exports of cement from the country witnessed an increase of 32.40 percent during the first half of the ongoing fiscal year against the exports of the corresponding period of last year.

The cement exports from the country were recorded at $17.662 million during July-December (2018-19) against the exports of $16.015 million during July-December (2017-18), showing growth of 32.40 percent, according to the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

In terms of quantity, the exports of the commodity however witnessed a nominal decrease of 0.37 percent by going down from the exports of 11,200 metric tons to 11,159 metric tons, according to the data.

Top Bottom