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Punjab is organizing mineral sector with international best practices:Michael Stanley

Lahore: Michael Stanley, Lead Mining Specialist, of the World Bank has said that Punjab was organizing its mineral sector in accordance with international best practices, which would accelerate mineral related growth in the province. He said that World Bank would continue to support sharing of knowledge and experiences.

He expressed these views while addressing a workshop on development of large-scale mining jointly organized by the Punjab Mines & Minerals Department and the World Bank in Lahore. The participants of the workshop included World Bank team from Sustainable Energy Department Oil, Gas and Mining Unit, Members of the academia, officers of the Mines and Mineral Department, representatives of mines owners association from Punjab and Sindh including the speakers, Secretary Mines and Minerals, Punjab, Shahid Mahmood, Professor Nawaz Chaudhry, College of Earth and Environmental sciences, Punjab University, Michael Heydari, Mineral Economist, Marie Louise Vittelli, Legal and Regulatory Specialist, Ejaz Ahmad Khan, Secretary Coal and Energy, Sindh, Dr. Imran Ahmad Khan, Director General Geological Survey of Pakistan and Javed Ayub, Director Mineral Resources, AJK.

Secretary Mines and Minerals Shahid Mehmood While Speaking on this occasion said that Punjab Government has taken a number of initiatives which include Resource Estimation of coal according to international standards, Kalabagh iron ore utilization project for steel making and iron ore and associated metallic mineral exploration project for Chiniot – Rajoa. The Secretary also shared other efforts of the Department in establishing the Punjab Mineral Company, organizing exploration of minerals on scientific lines, revision of Punjab Mining Concession Rules and strengthening of the Punjab School of Mining at Katas. Punjab Mineral Development Corporation has been galvanized and being given a role of facilitator in technical guidelines and provision of machinery/equipments to the miners. He said these efforts will encourage investment in the mineral sector.

The purpose of the workshop was to discuss efforts to develop the mining sector and the issues that need to be resolved to bring the mining sector at par with international best practices.

Dr. Nawaz Chaudhry gave a comprehensive overview of the geology and mineral resources of Pakistan and Punjab. He highlighted the occurrence and mineralization of metallic, non-metallic and industrial minerals in different zones of Pakistan and Punjab. The participants keenly noted the mineral potential and opportunity in Pakistan. According to the existing geological studies, reports and sample analyses, there is a possibility of the presence of copper and other precious metallic minerals associated with iron ore in Chiniot and Rajoa areas, he added.

The conference was informed that the Mines Department has conducted coal resources estimation study, which has revealed the presence of 596 million tons in Salt Range and Trans Indus Range as per Australasian JORC Standards. The study educated the Department regarding the importance of exploration/geological data generation, management, presentation and processing of information and international reporting standards.

Mary Loiuse Vittelli, legal and regulatory specialist said that the revised Mineral Concession Rules will bring investment and open the sector to competition. She said that Punjab Rules were a shining example of better and improved decision making framework, which could be adopted by the other provinces. Mr. Michael Heydari, World Bank Mineral Economist, highlighted the importance of economic viability of the mineral projects because huge resources are required in exploration and exploitation of the minerals and economic balance is the key requirement for the stake holders.

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