Following are the chief minerals found in Pakistan;
|1. Aluminum||9. Rock Salt|
|2. Iron Ore||10. Solar Salt|
|3. Copper||11. Magnesite|
|4. Chromite Ore||12. Limestone for lime|
|5. Zinc / Lead||13. Kaolin (China Clay)|
|6. Coal||14. Gemstones|
|7. Gypsum / Anhydrite||15. Natural stones granite & marble|
Before approaching to the issues associated with Recodec copper and gold mining, province-wise pin picture of mines and mineral potential is given here under;
The Province Punjab enjoys enormous natural resources, which are enlisted in details;
Ironore: Iron ores is present in large deposits in Punjab. The major deposits are in Kalabagh Mianwali district.
Coal: In Punjab coal is present in Salt Range and Markawal.The estimated deposits of coal in this region are 235 million tons. The quality is average in comparison with other provinces.
Gypsum: Punjab stands 2nd in gypsum deposits. The major deposits of Gypsum are in Dadukhel in the Mianwali area which is about 53 million tons. Other resources are in Rakhi-Munh, Khewra, and Safedkoh-Rodo area. Gypsum is also found in the Suleman Range of D.G. Khan, Punjab.
Salt: Salt deposits are mainly found in the Salt Range (160 kms in length, east and west trending mountainous arc between Rivers Jhelum and Indus). Rock salt is mined at Khewra, Warcha, Kalabagh, Bhadurkhel, Jatta and karak salt Mines by Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation. Punjab Mineral Development Corporation operates Chakwal and Khushab salt mines. According to Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation, the rock salt reserves within the area of their mining operation are around 600 million tons.
Limestone: Lime Stone is present in the salt Range Potwar Plateau, Margalla Hills, and ZindaPir (Attock) in large deposits.
Aluminum: In Punjab Aluminium is found in the Khushab district. It is graded as low-quality Aluminum.
Celestine: It contains about 83% Strontium Sulphate. Celestite is used in signal rockets and flares, tracer bullets, transportation warning fused and fire-works. It also used in Strontium compound Ceramics, luminous paints, plastics industries. In Punjab It is found in DaudKhel in the Western Salt Range.
Natural oil: All large and renowned oil fields are located in potwar region. In the following table, a brief description of Oil fields is given.
Natural gas: The only major gas resource is located in Uch near Multan. Another gas field is the Adhi gas field located in Rawalpindi district, supplies 18Mcf/day of gas,62 tons/day of LPG,300 Barrels/day of Natural gas liquid(NGL).
Marble: It is one of the country’s foreign exchange earnings. In Punjab, its reserves are in Dalbandin Hills in Attock District.
Chromite: Chromite deposits of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa must be considered from a regional standpoint that could enable Pakistan to become a major exporter of chromite and /or ferrochrome. In NWFP its deposits are 1) In Dargai there are estimated reserves 0.7 Mt of which 0.3Mts are proven. 2) In Heroshah, open pit reserves of around 0.1 Mt have been proved.3) Similarly in Jijal-pattan and Chilas areas (Kohistan) Shunghail prospect appears to contain 0.2 Mt reserves.
Coal: In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, there is no large deposit of coal. Two small ones are present which are briefly described in tabular form.This coal is graded as good quality coal found in Pakistan.
Bauxite: In the province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Bauxite is found in Hazara District.
Gypsum: The largest resources of gypsum found in Pakistan are in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The reserves are mainly found in D.I.Khan & Kohat district.
Phosphates: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa contains Cambrian sedimentary phosphates of marine origin, mainly in the upper clayey dolomite of Abbottabad Formation (cherty phosphate) 0-0 and underlying cherty – silty – sandy beds of Hazara formation.
Reserves and Grades: Grades of two major ore types and their reserves are as under:
Dolomitic ore (generally low to medium in P2 O5 & SiO2 and high in MgO).
Siliceous ore (generally medium to high in P2O5 and SiO2 and low in MgO.
Magnesite: PIDC used to hold the lease for magnesite mines at Kumhar in Abbottabad established around 11 million tons geological &3 million tons mineable reserves containing acceptable 46% – 47% magnesium oxide.
Limestone: Pakistan is bestowed with extensive deposits of suitable quality of limestone in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Northern Areas. The average annual production of limestone is 8697 Metric tons used mainly in the manufacture of cement. Roadmaking, building construction and in the chemicals industries.
China Clay: Presently the major production comes from shah Dheri, Swat where an elutriation plant has been established. The country’s average yearly production of china clay is 61,403 metric tons.
Marbles: Marbles of different classifications, fossil ferrous limestone, serpentine etc occur in the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and in Northern Areas. Out of 160.2 million tons of marble reserves estimated in Pakistan, 158 million tons are in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Gem Stones: Pakistan ranks amongst leading gem-hosting countries. Owing to favorable geological environments, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, AJ&K and Northern Areas are the major gem hosting regions of the country. The gemstones include; Emerald, Ruby, Pink Topaz, Peridot, Green Ruby deposits of Hunza and AJ&K all other gemstone deposits have not been studied scientifically and are undocumented.
Soap Stone: Soapstone is used in Ceramics, face powder and as filler in soap industry. In NWFP, its deposits are in Sherwan in Abbotabad district.