Pakistan is endowed with significant mineral resources and is emerging as a very promising area for the exploration of mineral deposits. The country’s 600,000 square kms of outcrop area demonstrates varied geological potential for a number of mineral deposits. The total value of the output from the mineral industry accounted for 2.9% of the GDP in 2009 and recorded a growth rate of 2.7% the same year.
Explorations by multinational mining companies, government agencies and various regional geological surveys confirm Punjab’s enormous potential in the production of key minerals including coal, gypsum, rock salt, limestone, iron ore and marble, and granite among others. Although, mining and quarrying output has been constantly on the increase, exploitation of these resources has been slow owing to a lack of capital and sophistication in the sector.
- According to a recent World Bank report; based on the experience of other countries with similar geological endowment, it is estimated that Pakistan can really turn this potential and generate significant growth and local economic development. It continues to say that the mineral sector with sufficient capital and a favorable investment climate has the capacity to contribute annual revenues and foreign exchange in the range of USD 1.5 - 2.0 billion or 2 - 3 % of GDP, stimulate secondary and tertiary economic activity, promote growth and provide employment and community development in largely remote regions of the country. Land is still available for investments in agricultural production and corporate farming.
- Each year, Pakistan imports over USD 1.5 billion worth or iron and steel scrap to cater to its steel requirements. It is widely accepted that there is immense latent demand hidden within the figures which remain un-satiated due to lack of necessary capital depth to import more iron which at present range around 5 million MT per annum.
- Against reserves of 500 MT, current production of coal is limited to just 1 MT in Punjab signaling great room for further coal production.
- Government of Punjab is greatly incentivizing investments into the coal extraction and in coal based power generation.
- Punjab’s limestone reserves have a cement production capacity of over 17 MT per annum. With 11 large cement plants operating in the province, the limestone deposits in the Salt Range, Margalla Hills and Koh-e-Suleman Range can be exploited to provide for existing, and installation of new, cement plants. Limestone or slaked lime may also be used to provide for the rubber industry, steel mills blast furnaces and building and construction.
- Limestone mining and quarrying (providing inputs to the cement industry)
- Coal extraction and coal-based power generation
- Iron ore extraction
- Ultra refined crystalline salt (PVD salt) production
- Gypsum mining and processing
- Limestone as dimension stone extraction and processing
- Bauxite ore extraction
- Potash fertilizer production