Pakistan is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of natural resources but also one of the poorest among them in their management. The country is abundant in vital resources including that of energy, agriculture, minerals, population, and geography, but unlike the developed countries, these have not been properly exploited due to poor management. This dismayed situation is caused due to several, both chronic and acute, flaws which have led to poor governance of the country since its inception except for some brief spells of economic prosperity. Prevalent political opposition and instability, deterioration of law and order, and rampant corruption have catalyzed the situation to resource development standoff. Contrary to the economic potential of its natural resources, Pakistan is a dependent on foreign aid and debt, it is facing a shortfall in trade, acute energy disaster to run industry, and water stress for agriculture, to name a few challenges.
However, the intimidating confrontation and the mounting public pressure caused due to awareness of civil society are increasingly influencing political decision-making. Eventually, there is a sign of hope for devising an effective strategy to exploit the natural resource wealth of the country for its self-sufficiency and viable economic development. It is sufficient to say that the proper exploitation of this wealth would lead to the prosperity of this nation. Among the world’s 200 plus countries it has the second largest salt mines, second-largest coal reserves, fifth-largest copper and gold reserves, seventh-largest wheat and rice production capacity. It is the sixth most populous country in the world having a large share of the young population. Had these resources been properly managed, this country would have been one of the richest economies in world. The detailed account of the natural wealth of Pakistan shows how such great potential has been unexploited due to mismanagement. Besides it, lack of insight of the politicians, poor planning, governance, corruption, and ignorance is making the mining sector development more controversial than ever.
To highlight the Recodec copper and gold mining issues, the controversies associated with it, and the challenges faced in developing viable projects followed by recommendations to overcome the issues
Significance and Scope of the Study
Minerals are vital natural resources and are available in great quantity. Pakistan has the fifth largest copper and gold reserves in the world. The Rikodeq project, copper and gold pool, have been estimated to be worth of 260 billion dollars, which is ten times the all financial aid received from USA in last sixty year. But instead of exploiting own resources for economic independence, country has been dependent on foreign aid. How rich Pakistan is, and how poor Pakistanis are! There are other partially untouched resources of rock salts, Gypsum, lime stone, iron, marble, and silica sand in large quantities. These resources have not been exploited due to corruption and bottlenecks in political and bureaucratic culture.
This study will be one of the first serious efforts to analyze the current issue of copper and gold mines viz-a-viz its impacts on the economy of Pakistan and may set the course for future studies in this area of national importance. To analyze the issues and review the impediments that has mining sector short of playing its role as a catalyst towards positive change in the socio-economic life of the people of Balochistan, establishing political harmony and economic development. The paper will further deliberate upon the available potential/opportunities and will give suggestions required to make mining sector developed in Pakistan to act as a catalyst of change for economic, social as well as political development of the country.