ISLAMABAD: Ministry of planning, development and reform has started a new initiative to improve productivity in mines and mineral sector and boost exports, Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) reported on Wednesday.
Cluster Development Based Mineral Transformation Plan, costing Rs62.21 million, has been launched under Vision-2025 and would increase value addition and create jobs in mineral sector.
As per Annual Development Plan (ADP) 2018-19, the mines and mineral contribution towards GDP growth was 0.09 per cent in 2017-18, while Vision 2025 and 12th Five Year Plan envisage fundamental improvements for mineral sector. Moreover, Geological Survey of Pakistan (GSP) has designed a number of annual field programmes and projects like minerals investigation, geological mapping, geophysical exploration, exploration and evaluation of coal, geochemical exploration of precious metals, geo-environmental and ground water studies, exploration of iron ore, geo hazard assessment and geo-technical projects, geochemical analysis and medical geology for next year.
An area of about 12800 sq-km is planned to be geologically mapped in different parts of the country.
Around 200 samples will be taken and geochemical analysis will be carried out.
Even though the operational funds provided in regular budget are short to meet the project expenses, the GSP aims to achieve technical targets in the upcoming financial year within the available resources.
The efforts will be concentrated towards mineral exploration and geological mapping projects including iron ore, coal, copper, and gold in areas of Punjab and Balochistan province, while lead-zinc-barite investigations will be carried out in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Sindh. In Gilgit-Baltistan, Islamabad, some regions of Punjab such as Kasur, Faisalabad, and different regions of Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) some of the environmental, geo-technical, urban, and hydro-geological studies will also be carried out.
A total of four ongoing development projects will be implemented in fiscal year 2018-19 accompanied by six newly proposed development projects subject to their approval from the competent forum. The GSP has also proposed up-gradation of its laboratories as well as its accommodation facilities in a bid to enhance its geochemical analytical capabilities, efficiency, and output.