The department of minerals has been working under a director and a team of geologists. The department mainly deals with minerals exploration and development and carries out different activities like geological mapping, geological investigation, drilling and reserve estimation. Mineral concession is another function of the department which includes grant of prospecting and mining licenses, and collection of royalty. Rescue operations and inspection of mines are also carried out by the department.
Strength and Opportunities in the Sector
KPK and FATA is dominated by mountainous terrains with a great variety of minerals from marble, granite to other metallic minerals including gold etc. The following table shows the production of minerals in 2003-04.
Quantity in Tons
|Agency||Lime stone||Marble||Coal||Soap Stone||Quartz||Manganese||Chromite ||Fluorite||Scrap|
Source: Mineral concession cell FATA secretariat
Marble and Granite: The marble and granite sector has significant potential for growth, as huge reserves of highly valued white marble in Ziarat, Mohmand Agency, gray in Bajaur and other attractive colors in Mohmand, Khyber, Bajaur, Orakzai, Kurram and Waziristan have been identified. In FATA, the marble quarrying/mining industry has provided jobs to an estimated 2000 persons.
Gems: Despite having tremendous potential for growth, the gemstone sector has not realized its true worth as an industry specifically in FATA. Some geological findings indicate availability of precious and semi precious stones. In the north, emerald & tourmaline have been found whereas garnet and quartz are found in Bajaur and South Waziristan. However these reserves have not been properly identified and exploited.
Copper: In North Waziristan estimated reserve of 35 million tonnes has been discovered with confirmed reserves of 8 million tonnes having average copper content of 0.8%. Exploitation of these resources will employ labor force in thousands in addition to export revenues.
Coal: FATA has abundance of high quality coal deposits. The coal is already being mined at
various localities but at a very limited scale by using old and outdated mining techniques. Huge deposits of coal have been identified in Darra Adam Khel (F.R Kohat), Orakzai, Kurram and North Waziristan.
Soapstone: Soapstone is a metamorphic rock rich in magnesium and iron. FATA has huge deposits of soapstone that can be used in local industry as well as exported. Currently the soapstone at Ghandhao is mined and exported to Europe where the demand for it is showing an increasing trend.
Reform the legal framework for mining activities in the region, this reform shall encompass regulatory reforms of leasing, dispute resolution mechanisms and reform of the legal frameworks
Improve the productivity of mines through adoption of modern methods to improve the quality of the product and reduce wastage
Introduction of new technologies through joint ventures on public and private partnership.
Improve the quality of the human resource through intensive trainings specially for blasting and use of modern methods.
Involvement of all stakeholders for sustainable mining activity and minimizing environmental degradation.
Maintain a healthy workforce through improved safety and provision of emergency evacuation in case of accidents.