GILGIT TRIBUNE

Voice of the Mountain People

100 more licenses to be issued for ‘exploration’ of minerals in GB

Posted by Gilgit Tribune on November 22, 2009

Gilgit, November 22: The Tourism and Mineral Department of Gilgit-Baltistan will issue more than 100 licenses to local and foreign firms for exploration of precious minerals in the region while 70 licenses have so far been issued to various national and international firms, the state owned news agency, Secretary Tourism and Minerals Department, Naib Khan has said while talking to a news agency.

He said that gemstones of Rs. 500 million values are extracted annually from Gilgit-Baltistan and more measures were being adopted to explore other precious minerals.

“It has been confirmed that nearly all valleys in GB are shedding gold and base metals but the need is investment to explore them in order to change fate of the area” he added.

He said the area is also rich with white color Marble and the deposits of Shigar (Skardu), Nasirabad (Hunza) and Gupis (Ghizer) which are considered to be of international standard.

Responding to a query he said more than 11 sites of gold mines had already been identified in various parts of the GB and that around 15 firms including local and foreign are already busy in mining gold and copper in various areas which have been allocated to them for this purpose.

At present, about 50 types of different minerals are extracted from the region that include gold, copper, lead and coal besides precious stones topaz, marble and granite which are not only valued in the country but their demand is rising all over the world.

He said the natural resources if exploited properly cannot only fulfill the requirements of the region but would also bring handsome foreign earnings to the country through exports.

Meanwhile, officials of the Northern Areas Gems Stone and Mineral Association said every year traders and stone specialists come to the region to buy stones worth millions of rupees but unfortunately a pittance is paid to the locals as compared to the values of the minerals at the international market.-APP

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