Mineral exploration below 1pc of GDP
Islamabad: Inadequate capital and lack of proper technical know-how and modern equipment have reduced the country’s mineral exploration, which now contributes less than one per cent to gross domestic product.
Although Pakistan is generally regarded as being rich in mineral resources, the development of these resources has been limited to some quarries producing industrial minerals of limestone, rock salt, marble, gypsum and a modest amount of coal for power generation.
While encouraging foreign capital and technology, it is also necessary to ensure the national interest through well-considered contract negotiations, he said.
Government is planning to implement National Mineral Policy that was formulated in 1995 with the objective to facilitate private investment in mineral development.
In order to fully harness the available potential, the implementation of the ‘National Minerals Policy 1995’ needs to be seriously pursued, he added. “The export of unprocessed ore is to be avoided at all costs, since the by-products and other precious rare-earths are lost without any accounting.”
He said long-term efforts are required for mapping and interpreting the geology of the related areas, setting standards and undertaking contracted aeromagnetic, geo-chemical and airborne radiometric surveys, conducting national mapping programmes of the earth’s gravitational and magnetic fields.