Directorate of Minerals FATA

Historical Background

  • The Minerals Section of FATA was initially established in 1972
  • In the year 1986, Directorate of Industries & Minerals Development was created and this setup continued up till 2001.
  • Mineral Sector worked as Mineral Directorate w.e.f2001-2003.
  • In 2003 the Mineral Directorate was renamed as Directorate of Mineral, Industries and Technical Education.
  • In 2005 the Mineral Sector was detached from other sectors (i.e Industries & Technical Education) in all Federating Units of Pakistan including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa per Mineral Policy 1995 except FATA.

Geological Setup

  • Tribal area spread over 27220 sq. km out of which about 82% area Mapped geologically.
  • Sedimentary, igneous and metamorphosed rocks are exposed in the area.
  • Rocks age ranging from Paleozoic to Cenozoic.
  • These lithological units are favorable for hosting metallic, non metallic , Energy Minerals and industrial minerals.
  • Recent studies in Khyber Agency revealed that the sedimentary belt stretching from Khyber to South Waziristan have the potential for occurrences of hydrocarbon.

Strengths and Opportunities in the Sector

  • KP and FATA are dominated by a mountainous terrain with a great variety of minerals from marble, granite to other metallic minerals such as gold etc.
  • Marble and Granite: The marble and granite sector has significant potential for growth, as huge reserves of highly valued white marble in Ziarat and Mohmand Agency, with gray colored marble 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 2,000 persons.
  • Gems: Despite having tremendous potential for growth, the gemstone sector has not reached its true potential as an industry, specifically in FATA. Some geological findings indicate availability of precious and semi precious stones. In the north, emeralds and tourmalines 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 the estimated reserves of 35 million tones have been discovered with confirmed reserves of 8 million tones 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 on the rise.
  • Nephrite:This mineral has recently been discovered for the first time in FATA and its group needs to be determined.

Development Strategy

  • 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 the adoption of modern methods to improve the quality of products and reduce wastage.
  • Introduction of new technologies through joint ventures on public and private partnership.
  • Improve the quality of the human resources, through intensive training, especially 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 cases of accidents.

Mines Catagerization in FATA

   Mines in FATA can be catagarized on the basis of the following parameters.

  1. License/Lease Types
  2. Minrals Group/Uses

1. Catagarization on the basis of License/Lease types

       Large Scale Mining

Large scale mining means a project of mining involving in investment / capital of more than three 300 millions rupees. Under large scale mining the following license / leases are granted.

  •   Reconnaissance License
  •   Exploration License
  •   Minerals Deposite Retention License
  •   Mining Lease.

       Small Scale Mining

Small scale mining means a project of mining in involving a capital of less than 300 millions rupees. Under small scale mining the following license/leases are granted.

  •  Prospecting License
  •  Mining Leases

2. Catageriaztion on the basis of minerals groups/uses.

                Precious Metal Groups

                           This group includes Gold , Silver, Platinum, etc

                 Base Matel Group

                            This group includes Copper,Iron,Manganese,Cromite etc

                 Precious Stone Group

                              This group includes Diamonds,Emeralds,Rubies,and Sapphires.

                  Semi Precious Stone Group

                               This group includes Garnet,Topaz,Tourmiline,Agate,Quartz, Beryl etc

                  Industrial Minerals Group

                              This group includes Silica,Soapstone,Sulphur,Talc,Gypsum etc

                  Construction Minerals Group

                             This group includes Marble,Limestone,Granite etc

                  Energy Minerals Group

                             This group includes Coal.

                   Miners Minerals Groups

                             This group includes ordinary Sand,Gravel, and Bajri.