ISLAMABAD: Pakistan exported over 2.3 metric tonnes of some 23 species of minerals to dozens of countries in last year.
The Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation (PMDC) is an autonomous corporation attached to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources. It was created in 1974 with an authorized capital of Rs 1,000 million to expand and help mineral development activities in the country. The PMDC is involved in exploration and evaluation of economic mineral deposits, preparation of techno-economic feasibility reports, mining and marketing as well as operating 4 Coal Mines, 4 Salt Mines/ quarries and a silica sand quarry. PMDC shares 17% of the coal and 58% of the total salt production in the country.
“Pakistan has exceptional export potential of mineral and metals due to its significant natural resource because country is well-endowed with a great number such minerals and metals which include: Petroleum Group, Marble, Onyx, Granite and other Dimensional Stones, Talc (Soap Stone), Rock Salt, Sea Salt, Gypsum, Coal, Gemstones, Noble Metals, Chromites, Copper Ore, Iron Ore, Lead-Zinc Ores etc,” a well placed source at Ministry of Commerce (MoC) told this scribe here on Monday. Keeping in view the enormous export potential of minerals, the source said that Minerals & Metals Division was established at Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) to tackle issues pertaining to entire value chain of minerals & metals and to broaden the spectrum of exports. The source said that TDAP’s efforts based on aggressive marketing and institutional facilities to the Mineral sector have resulted in the expansion of exports from the country. Gems & Jewellery, Petroleum group, Marble& Granite, and Chromium ore, contributed a big share in the exports.
“The Minerals & Metals Division is working to increase the export of natural resources by maintaining a close liaison with stakeholders and participation in International Trade Fairs & Exhibitions” the source added saying that Division was also contributing to the human resource development endeavor for the sector, by developing vocational institutes in different parts of the country.
“Absbestos, Brine, Calcite, Coal, Kaolin, Lignite, Limenite, Limestone, Marble, Mica, Rock phasphate, Potash, Pyrite, Radioactive Minerals; rock salt, silica salt, soapstone, sulphur, vermiculite, as well as gemstones including peridot, aquamarine, topaz, ruby, emerald, bastnaestie, xenotime, sphene, tourmaline and quartz are are minerals widely used in jewelry and for ornamental purposes and Northern and western regions of Pakistan are rich in high quality gemstones,” the source said.
The current contribution of mineral sector to the GDP is about 0.5% and likely to increase considerably on the development and commercial exploitation of Reco Diq copper deposits, Duddar Zinc lead, Thar coal and Gemstone deposits.