Friday, June 25, 2010

Afghan Mineral Wealth Discovery Inspires Hope in Pakistan

Recent confirmation of vast new mineral deposits, an estimated trillion dollars worth spread in all parts of war-torn Afghanistan, has sparked interest in conducting a comprehensive aerial geological survey in Pakistan.



Significant deposits of copper and gold (Saindak and Reko Diq in Balochistan), zinc and lead (Lasbella, Balochistan), a new gas field (Nawabshah, Sind) and coal (Tharparkar, Sind) have been confirmed in recent years by Geological Survey of Pakistan and Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation in collaboration with mining firms from Australia, China and other nations. Reko Diq alone has estimated reserves of two billion tons of copper and 20 million ounces of gold. The value of the deposits has been estimated at about $65 billion. Based on preliminary data, a nation-wide aerial survey can be helpful in finding significant additional mineral resources in Pakistan.

The conventional exploration methods historically used by geologists have essentially relied on sturdy boots, picks, hammer, shovels, binoculars, an all-weather writing pad and a geographical map of the area to be explored. Advanced remote sensing technology, with gravity, magnetic and hyper-spectral sensors, used by American geologists in Afghanistan flying in US Navy's P3 Orion submarine-hunter aircraft and WB-57 high-flying spy planes has now transformed this process of geological resource mapping. This was at least partly motivated by the lack of roads and dangerous security situation that currently exists on the ground in Afghanistan.

Dr. John Brozena, the Chief Scientist of US Naval Research Laboratory, participated in the Afghan aerial prospecting missions. He described the effort to Ira Flatow, the host of NPR Science Friday, as follows:

" There were two separate (Afghan) airborne surveys during 2006. Ours was in a P-3, a naval aircraft, a research-configured P-3, and our was at sort of 20,000 to 30,000 feet. The second aircraft, equipped with different sensors, was flown at about 50,000 feet. That was the WB-57.

So there's information from several programs between those two aircraft. But what you need to think about when you're looking for all these minerals or thinking about all these minerals is that geologists fuse information from every source that they can get.

So a great deal of this information came from old Soviet maps. You may have heard that the workers within the Afghan Geological Survey, during the time of the Taliban occupation or control of the country, hid the maps that were made during the Soviet period and brought them forward and gave shared them with U.S. Geological Survey, who then worked with us and the WB-57 folks to put together airborne surveys to supplement the on-the-surface maps...

And so when you're thinking of how you would go about looking for all these minerals or finding them, it's really a combination of every piece of information you can integrate, and we've contributed to one part of that....

...our sensors system - and we had a very large group of sensors on the P-3, these I should mention these are former submarine chasers. It was their primary function in the Navy at the time, and the Naval Research Laboratory and its - the Navy Scientific Development's Squadron 1, VXS-1, have a couple of P-3s that are stripped out of all their military hardware, all the sensors for submarine warfare, and all the weapons systems have been removed. And they've been turned into research trucks that can carry lots of different kinds of equipment.

We had gravity, magnetics, hyper-spectral let's see, what else...

A gravity sensor detects variations in mass, local mass variations, which could be either density or amount, like a mountain. And so if you take a topographic map and try to remove the topographic variations, you're left with a good estimate of the density variations in the earth beneath you.

And that's related to both the combination of geologic structure and the materials that are in the area, and that's one type of remote sensing. It's not definitive. You have to calibrate against some ground truth. You have to integrate that information with other things. But knowing the regional densities and density variations tells you quite a lot of information.

The gravity is used primarily for sedimentary basins, looking for oil and gas, as opposed to minerals. You've been hearing in the newspaper about minerals possibly in Afghanistan. ...

The gravity sensor is more appropriate and it was onboard the aircraft looking for sedimentary basins. And in fact, we there were known sedimentary basins around Afghanistan, and what we did was define their extent and their geometries. And there are a couple that look fairly perspective, that the USGS is working on, trying to come up with estimates of potential oil and gas within Afghanistan. And they may have a fair amount of gas and even perhaps a bit of oil...

the gravity does contribute something, because if it gives you the real - the regional geologic context, the folding and faulting and things like that that are important for mineralization.

Then the next primary sensor that would be used would be the magnetics, which, from its sound, detects the variation in the magnetic field locally, around space. And that tells you about a lot about the minerals or the materials that are in the area.

It there's different amounts of magnetic field that are associated with different types of materials, and in combination with the gravity and the ground truth, again, it's a good way to do initial searches for either likely areas for minerals or direct detection.

In the case of something like iron ore, it has a huge magnetic signature directly, and so you can actually see the extent of an ore deposit if you get close enough to it.

One of the problems we had was flying at 20,000 to 30,000 feet. We're a long ways away from some of those things, so their signatures are attenuated. But in the case of a very large ferrous metal deposit, it's you still pick up signatures...

Well, hyper-spectral imaging, if you think of a normal camera as dividing the visual spectrum into three colors, red, green and blue, and then mixing them to make the various colors that you see on a photograph, a hyper-spectral imager divides into many more colors, essentially, many more bands.

The one that we were using on the P-3 divided visual range plus a little bit of the infrared into 72 bands. And so you're looking for emissions, or lack of emissions within each of those bands. And those are diagnostic of, again, materials. But the thing here is you're looking only at the surface. It's you can only see what's on the surface with any type of imaging like that, and...

It's continuing. Rampant Lion is a developmental project at the Naval Research Laboratory that's not particular to platform or sensors. It's a way to put together multiple sensors on whatever platform's appropriate for a particular problem.

So we've operated in Colombia, in Iraq and Afghanistan. We're hoping to operate in the future with other countries, as well, and we have quite a lot of interest in different places in Africa and...


The "other countries" referred to Dr. Brozena apparently include Pakistan, at least according an April 2010 story in Pakistan's Business Recorder newspaper.

Quoting "reliable sources", the Pakistani paper reported on April 2, 2010, that "Pakistan has turned down United States (US) offer of aerial geological survey to explore natural reserves due to security concerns". The story said that the "US was explicably not ready to share the data with Pakistan collected through aerial geological survey, .... Pakistan has accepted Chinese assistance to conduct a comprehensive scientific geological survey of Pakistan, which will be helpful in exploring oil, gas and mineral reserves. According to sources, Defence Ministry has supported the proposal to involve Chinese Geological Survey (CGS) for geosciences co-operation".

As Pakistanis hope to discover new mineral wealth by renewed focus on exploration, I think it is important to remind everyone that Pakistan's most important resource is its people. While the country's anticipated deposits of iron, copper, cobalt, zinc, lead, gold, oil, gas and coal can help generate significant revenues, it is important to ensure that the bulk of additional new revenue is invested in education and healthcare to develop the nation's human resources for its future well-being.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Remote Sensing Oil and Gas Fields in Pakistan

Pakistan's Mineral Yearbook 2005

US, NATO Fighting to Stalemate in Afghanistan

South Asia Slipping in Human Development

Abundant, Cheap Coal Electricity in Pakistan

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12 Comments:

Blogger Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Dawn report on Reko Diq development in Balochistan that could bring in $2 billion a year in royalties for Pakistan:

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court was informed on Wednesday that the country could earn $2 billion per year by developing the Reko Diq copper and gold project on its own — much higher than a paltry return of $160 million offered to the Balochistan government by a consortium of Chilean and Canadian companies.

“Pakistan is possessed with the expertise and technology to explore and refine the precious metals — an investment which will help the government earn $2 billion per annum,” nuclear scientist Dr Samar Mubarkmand, chairman of the board of governors of Reko Diq Copper Development project, said in a presentation to a three-judge bench seized with petitions challenging a contract awarded to Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) for exploring gold and copper.

The bench, comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday, is hearing identical petitions filed by Barrister Zafarullah and Advocate Tariq Asad. Barrister Zafarullah also moved a contempt petition against the TCC for carrying out advertisements in the print media, although the matter is before the court.

Dr Mubarakmand wondered if Pakistan could develop nuclear technology by reducing defence budget, why could it not develop mining technology. It would also help boost foreign exchange reserves and establish the downstream industry, the scientist said while talking to reporters.

“This technology is similar to uranium mining. The digging process will also help excavate a number of precious minerals, including zirconium and cobalt,” he said, adding that about 400 square kilometres of land had been leased out to the foreign firm, but it had dug only six to seven sq-km over the past three years — only two to three per cent of the total area.

Dr Mubarakmand said that mines in Reko Diq had 0.025 per cent reserves of precious metals. The country, he said, had the capability to process these metals. He said the foreign firm would fetch an estimated profit of $104 billion from the digging site. Right now the firm’s owners wanted to ship the extracted raw mineral outside the country for refining.

The scientist informed the court that the total copper requirement of the country was one ton a year, but whatever copper was excavated from the Saindak copper and gold project had been exported. Not a single kilogram went to the local industry, he lamented.

He rejected allegations that Balochistan was not sharing the project’s feasibility report with the federal government.

Irshad Ali, Director General of Minerals in the petroleum ministry, defended the project and said the allegations levelled by the petitioners were unfounded. “No violation of rules or policy has been breached by the government at any stage,” he told the court.

He recalled that the Balochistan government had in 1993 entered into an agreement with Broken Hill, a foreign company, for exploration of mineral reserves, of which 25 per cent of shares as profit was to go to the province while the federal government reserved the right to levy cess.

On Sept 3, 2007, the then prime minister had constituted a five-member committee comprising federal secretaries to attract foreign companies, but it failed to reach any decision as the firms interested in the project were not ready to give more than two per cent share as royalty while the government’s demand was five per cent.

January 12, 2011 at 6:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reko Diq controversy is something that suggests to me that the politicians in Islamabad have botched the handing out of mining licenses at beat and have sold out a huge asset for peanuts at worst for whatever reason. Even in the Pakistan Supreme Court, the discussion is on the copper and gold assets, while the rare earths and rare metals like Samarium, Dysprosium, Neodymium, Niobium etc are not even spoken about. And, the companies that have been granted the mining contract are offering to pay a 2% royalty while the Pakistan government is asking for 5%. I can understand this percentage being offered for copper and for gold which are very expensive to extract even if some of the new reduction methods are used, but since the ores are going to be processed in Chile and Canada, someone is certain to go laughing to the bank at Pakistani citizens' expense. The figures of $ 260 billion worth of copper and gold that are being bandied about are a smokescreen - the rare earths and rare metals available there are almost certainly worth considerably more.

Best wishes and I hope that saner counsel prevails in the Pakistani legal system. If this business is allowed to go ahead - even at the 5% royalty demanded by the government - it will have been a theft of Pakistani national assets.

January 13, 2011 at 11:23 PM  
Anonymous Mayraj said...

From what I found main deal was done in 1993. Depending on when it was either under Nawaz Sharif or Benazir Bhutto Govt, when Mr. 10% was in charge of finance and investments portfolio! At the time I do not know if they understood value of rare earth minerals.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pakistani_general_election,_1993
See:
"But after the Saindak study, instead of appointing international consultants for assessing the value and quantum of Reko Diq reserves, the Balochistan government entered into an agreement in 1993 with an Australian company having vast investments in oil and gas sectors under which 75 per cent of the reserves of Reko Diq were to be given to BHP Billiton, while 25 per cent share was to go to the government of Pakistan."
http://tribune.com.pk/story/102611/reko-diq-pakistan-risks-squandering-billions-in-questionable-deal/

Even now no mention of rare earths!

No mention of rare earth metals involved…
‘National Engineering and Scientific Commission Chairman Dr Samar Mubarak Mand’s statement to the Supreme Court, about the Reko Diq project, sheds an entirely new light on it, and converts it from a mere financial scam involving the government, to a violation of the national interest. That was perhaps an essential part of a scam involving the country’s natural resources, but this pronouncement by the country’s leading nuclear and missile scientist, threw into sharp relief the fact that the project was not just about gold, but also about copper, which is much cheaper, but which is much more used in all sorts of activity, and none of which is being provided from the Saindak project.”
http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Opinions/Editorials/14-Jan-2011/Reko-Diq-project

January 14, 2011 at 9:37 AM  
Blogger Riaz Haq said...

Here's Reuters on the likely bid winners for Reko Diq mining rights:

ISLAMABAD, June 26 (Reuters) - Chile's Antofagasta and Canada's Barrick Gold are likely to win mining rights for a $3.3 billion copper and gold project in Pakistan, a senior provincial government official said on Sunday.

The companies are partners in the Tethyan Copper Co (TCC) joint venture, which has a 75 percent interest in the Reko Diq project in the southwestern Baluchistan province.

TCC has carried out exploration but wants to expand its presence through mining.

Baluchistan has huge natural resources. However, growing anger over outsiders exploiting Pakistan's biggest and poorest province makes it difficult for investors to gain access.

Separatists have for decades waged a low-level revolt over control of Baluchistan's resources, which they say are unfairly exploited by the country's richer and more powerful provinces.

Reko Diq holds an estimated 5.9 billion tonnes of mineral resources with an average copper grade of 0.41 percent and an average gold grade of 0.22 grams a tonne, according to data released by Antofagasta.

TCC completed exploration on Reko Diq last year and submitted a feasibility report for mining.

A senior Baluchistan government official told Reuters that TCC's request for a mining licence was under consideration.

"If they fulfil the conditions then we have no objection at all," Baluchistan chief secretary, Ahmed Bakhsh Lehri, said.

No other companies have applied for mining permission, mining and government officials say.

Last week, the Baluchistan government announced it would set up a facility to refine copper and gold concentrates extracted from Riko Diq.

TCC has said it would sell the concentrate from Reko Diq to the provincial government on a commercial basis if it gains permission to mine.

In a bid to secure the deal, TCC has also offered to arrange financing for the government's 25 percent share of investment in the project through a soft loan and to pay the interest, according to a company document seen by Reuters.

The first stage of the project, which is hoped to start production in 2015, would produce 200,000 tonnes of copper and up to 300,000 ounces of gold a year, the company said.


http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/26/pakistan-mining-baluchistan-idUSL3E7HQ02920110626

June 26, 2011 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger Riaz Haq said...

Here's an opinion piece by an Indian writer Sajith Kumar in commditiyonline on the size and significance of Reko Diq:

The Reko Diq project is a large gold and copper porphyry resource located in the dry desert conditions of southwest Pakistan within the remote and sparsely populated province of Balochistan .

It is expected to contain some 20.9 million ounces of gold and 12.3 million tons of copper .The copper-gold deposits at Reko Diq are believed to be even bigger than those of Sarcheshmeh in Iran and Escondida in Chile.

A further 14 mineralized porphyry bodies are known to exist, with the potential to place the Reko Diq Project among the largest undeveloped copper resources on the globe.

At today’s international prices of Gold at $1650 an ounce (with cost of production $375/ounce), and Copper with cost of production at $1,500/ton , the profit works out to almost $4 billion for gold and $2 billion for copper annually.

BHP Billiton initially signed the exploration licence with the government of Balochistan in 1993, while Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) was being formed in Australia, with BHP Billiton having 75 per cent and the Balochistan government 25 per cent.

With gold and copper established in substantial quantity, BHP sold its stake 37.5 per cent each to the Chilean Conglomerate Antofagasta Minerals and the Canadian company Barrick Gold.

However, the project might take a long way to happen as advancing influence of terrorists in the region is the single most threat that needed to address immediately.

Even if the authorities cleared the project, it will required a massive effort by the parties involved in the mining to actually start digging the treasure out, analysts said.

Pakistan is at the moment remained a dangerous place to start any kind of business for foreigners, especially to westerners as some forces within the government are promoting and providing safe haven to terrorists operating in the country, analysts added.

Considering the situation, country’s dream gold project is unlikely to happen atleast in the next ten years, they added.


http://www.commodityonline.com/news/Pakistans-dream-gold-project-still-a-long-way-away-42605-3-1.html

September 26, 2011 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Daily Times report on gold, silver and copper reserves in Pakistan:

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has 1,339.25 tonnes of gold reserves situated in Balochistan with 63.50 tonnes at Saindak and 1275.75 tonnes at Reko Diq, sources told Daily Times on Monday.

These two major gold reserves are situated in district Chagi, Balochistan. The sources further said the Saindak Copper-Gold Project, Balochistan is the only project in the country, which is producing gold/silver as a by-product in a normal quantity. The gold production was 7.891 tonnes and silver 11.293 tonnes during five years from 2005 to 2009. Occurrence and showing of gold and silver had been reported from various parts of the country, including Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. However, reserves of these occurrences had not been confirmed except in Saindak and Reko Diq.

In 2006, the production of gold was 1.410 tonnes, while silver was 2.403 tonnes, in 2007 gold was 1.576 tonnes and silver 2.136 tonnes, in 2008 gold was 1.542 tonnes and silver 2.088 tonnes, while in 2009, the gold production was 1.592 tonnes and silver 2.157 tonnes. The country also has rich copper resources, and according to estimates there are about 4.805 billion tonnes copper reserves of which majority are in Balochistan and some nominal quantity in Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) and Gilgit-Baltistan. Balochistan’s copper reserves consists of Saindak with 412 million tonnes, Reko Diq 3.720 billion tonnes, Dhasht-e-Kain 200 million tonnes, Ziarat Pir Suyltan 200 million tonnes, Kabul Koh 50 million tonnes, Missi 100 million tonnes and Bandegan 0.032 million tonnes.

About 123 million tonnes of copper reserves in FATA areas Boya, Shinkari-North Waziristan have been found, the sources added. In Gilgit-Baltistan (Bulashgah, Gilgit) 0.5 million tonnes of copper reserves were discovered. Officials in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources told this scribe that feasibility studies have been conducted for copper-gold projects at Saindak and Reko Diq in the year 1988 and 2010, respectively. The Saindak project is in production since 2003.

Reko Diq deposit is in development phase and government of Balochistan as regulator is processing application for conversion of exploration licence into long-term lease. At present, the officials said two foreign companies are working for the copper-gold deposits, MCC of China on Saindak Project and Tethyan Copper Company, joint venture of government of Balochistan 25 percent, Antofagasta-Chile 37.5 percent and Barrick Gold-Canada 37.5 percent on Reko Diq project.

The officials further said Saindak Copper Gold project is the only productive unit in the country. The government of Balochistan receives royalty at the rate of five percent of sale proceeds and 60 percent share from Saindak Metals Limited/government of Pakistan.

Based on current production level, the annual revenue of the province from this project is estimated at Rs 1.300 billion. As per feasibility study, the life of mine of Reko Diq project is 56 years and estimated annual revenue of government of Balochistan during the above period is $110.8 million, the officials maintained.

However, private sources opposed the Reko Diq project exploration/mining lease to foreign companies. They describe it as the most unfair business deal of the decade, the multi-billion-dollar Reko Diq copper-and-gold project has been placed at the mercy of a consortium of companies who may walk away with its riches, robbing the country of a golden opportunity to lift itself out of its growing external debt. Private sector said that the geologists have estimated that Reko Diq contains mineral deposits worth $500 billion and if the authorities did not take action immediately, this golden opportunity of turning around Pakistan’s fate will be lost.


http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\11\15\story_15-11-2011_pg5_1

November 14, 2011 at 6:39 PM  
Blogger Riaz Haq said...

Here's a BBC report on full aerial mapping of Afghan natural resources:

Afghanistan has become the first country whose surface minerals have been mapped from the air.

The US Geological Survey released the results of a "hyperspectral imaging" effort, in which reflections of light shone from an aircraft are analysed.

Different minerals - as well as snow or vegetation - reflect specific colours, resulting in a "mineral map".

The map comprises more than 800 million data points corresponding to an area of 440,000 sq km, some 70% of the country.

Afghanistan is known to have vast reserves of oil, gas, copper, cobalt, gold and lithium. In late 2011, a consortium of Indian companies inked a deal to begin mining some of the country's large stores of iron.

But the country is known to have a wider array of mineral resources; in 2010, the Afghan ministry of mines claimed a value of its reserves of nearly a trillion dollars, then carrying out tours to promote investment in them.

But it remains to pin down which economically viable minerals are where, an effort for which the USGS's hyperspectral imaging expertise was enlisted.

In a series of 28 flights over 43 days, the USGS gathered the data by shining visible and infrared light from a height of 15,000m and using a camera to capture the reflections. Each "pixel" of the camera was analysed and correlated with the materials that reflect at a given colour.

The USGS public release of the data includes two maps: one of iron and iron-bearing minerals, and one of minerals principally containing carbon, silicon, or sulphur.

The survey was funded by the US Department of Defense's Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO) as well as the Afghan government.

"This is a tremendous tool for the Afghan government for locating and identifying its myriad rich mineral deposits," said TFBSO director Jim Bullion.

"These maps clearly show the enormous size and variety of Afghanistan's mineral wealth and position the country to become a world leader in the minerals sector."


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18882996

July 18, 2012 at 11:06 AM  
Blogger Riaz Haq said...

Here's BR on PPL introducing new petroleum exploration technology in Pakistan:

A PPL statement here on Saturday said that developed by NXT Energy Solutions (NXT), a geophysical service company based in Canada, SFD (Stress Field Detection) is a proprietary cutting edge, eco-friendly airborne reconnaissance method to identify potential hydrocarbon traps and reservoirs in a time- and cost-effective manner, especially in unexplored on- and off-shore frontier regions with limited access and infrastructure.



It said that the SFD is expected to be particularly useful in the current energy scenario, warranting fast track identification of, and production from, relatively deeper, more complex reserves of hydrocarbons to bridge the supply-demand gap.



Welcoming the guests, PPL's Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Asim Murtaza Khan, underscored the increasing importance of deploying latest exploration technology to meet production and reserves replacement targets to address the current deficit and ensure future energy security. SFD technology has been successfully applied by leading oil and gas companies in North America, Colombia and other countries. PPL is proud to be the first company to apply the technology in Pakistan', he said.


http://www.brecorder.com/top-news/108-pakistan-top-news/98349-ppl-introduces-stress-field-detection-technology-in-pakistan.html

December 29, 2012 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan Supreme Court has voided Reko Diq lease with Tethyan, reports Globe & Mail:

Pakistan’s top court on Monday declared invalid a lease for one of the world’s richest deposits of gold and copper held by a Canadian-Chilean consortium that includes Vancouver-based giant Barrick Gold Corp.

Barrick, the world’s largest gold producer, and Chile’s Antofagasta Minerals, each own a 37.5-per-cent share, as the Tethyan Copper Company, in the largest Foreign Direct Investment mining project in Pakistan.

Their plan was to build and operate a copper and gold open-pit mine at Reko Diq in the Chagai district of the southwestern province Baluchistan, the most deprived part of Pakistan, rife with Taliban, sectarian and separatist violence.

Barrick and Antofagasta say the proposed plant could produce 600,000 tons of copper and 250,000 ounces of gold a year, but in 2011 work came to a standstill after the local government refused to renew the consortium’s mining lease.

The provincial government in Baluchistan is also the sleeping partner in the Reko Diq project with a 25-per-cent stake.

Reasons for the dispute are murky, but some analysts suggest that China, a close Pakistan ally, is also interested in the deposits.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Monday declared “not valid” the initial 1993 exploration agreement between the Baluchistan government and Australian mining group BHP, since BHP Billiton Ltd.

It said the agreement ran counter to Pakistan’s mineral development act and mining concession rules, and therefore to transfer it to the Canadian-Chilean consortium is also “illegal, void and non est”.

Experts say mining in Baluchistan is dominated by small companies focused primarily on marble and granite, which waste up to 80 per cent of mined minerals because of poor blasting techniques.

They also call for more transparent polices to allow business to flourish


http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/pakistan-voids-gold-copper-lease-held-by-barrick-consortium/article6994959/

January 7, 2013 at 8:32 AM  
Blogger Riaz Haq said...

Here's Global Times on US delivering P3C Orions to Pakistan:

Pakistan is expected to receive maritime surveillance P3C Orion aircraft from the United States this year, state media quoted the country's ambassador in Washington as saying.

Ms. Sherry Rehman, who has been meeting with top American officials as part of efforts to restore the full range of bilateral ties, has said both the civil and defense cooperation between the two sides are gaining momentum, radio Pakistan reported on Monday.

Pakistan's Vice Chief of the Naval Staff Vice Admiral Muhammad Shafique, currently on a visit to the US, discussed matters related to ongoing cooperation between Pakistani and American navies and expressed satisfaction over senior level exchanges.

He expressed the hope for early departure of P3C maritime aircraft from the United States.

Pakistan had signed an agreement with the American defense manufacturer Lockheed Martin seven years ago, for the delivery of seven Orion aircrafts.

The Navy received three of the aircrafts in 2010, while another two were delivered in 2011. In addition to the Orions, the Navy is also operating seven aging Fokker F27-200 Friendship naval surveillance aircrafts, which it had acquired during the 1980s.

The Orions are one of the most popular maritime surveillance aircrafts in the world, being used by the naval forces in a number of nations such as the US, Japan, New Zealand and Brazil.

The aircrafts were first inducted into the US Navy in 1962, and so far more than 750 units have been manufactured. The US Navy had recently decided to replace its Orion fleet with the Boeing P-8A Poseidons.

Pakistani ambassador said that Pak-US interactions are important to push forward Pakistan-US bilateral defense ties and said the Pakistan Navy's key role in securing sea lanes in North Arabian Sea as part of the anti-piracy international coalition has been widely appreciated in the United States.

State media said that as a result of some hectic diplomacy, Washington and Islamabad have come out of a difficult phase in bilateral ties since early 2011, following a series of high-level meetings and trust-building measures.

The US recently released long-delayed Coalition Support Fund reimbursements and both countries have resumed working on different levels of cooperation through regular forums of institutionalized dialogues and working groups


http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/758602.shtml

January 27, 2013 at 9:52 PM  
Blogger Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan has more shale oil than Canada, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) report released on June 13, 2013.


The US EIA report estimates Pakistan's total shale oil reserves at 227 billion barrels of which 9.1 billion barrels are technically recoverable with today's technology.  In addition, the latest report says Pakistan has 586 trillion cubic feet of shale gas of which 105 trillion cubic feet (up from 51 trillion cubic feet reported in 2011) is technically recoverable with current technology.



The top ten countries by shale oil reserves include  Russia (75 billion barrels), United States (58 billion barrels), China (32 billion barrels), Argentina (27 billion barrels), Libya (26 billion barrels), Venezuela (13 billion barrels), Mexico (13 billion barrels), Pakistan (9.1 billion barrels), Canada (8.8 billion barrels) and Indonesia (7.9 billion barrels).




Pakistan's current  annual consumption of oil is only 150 million barrels. Even if it more than triples in the next few years, the 9.1 billion barrels currently technically recoverable would be enough for over 18 years. Similarly, even if Pakistan current gas demand of 1.6 trillion cubic feet triples in the next few years, it can be met with 105 trillion cubic feet of  technically recoverable shale gas for more than 20 years. And with newer technologies on the horizon, the level of technically recoverable shale oil and gas resources could increase substantially in the future.

June 17, 2013 at 6:58 AM  
Blogger Riaz Haq said...

Why is organized illegal #mining flourishing in #Pakistan?

http://www.mining-technology.com/features/featurewhy-is-illegal-mining-flourishing-in-pakistan-5731542/

Many challenges face Pakistan as it strives to stamp out illegal mining and attract investment to take full advantage of its rich variety of resources. As the eight-year ban on excavation in the Northern Province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa ends, Molly Lempriere takes a look at the challenges in this region and the country as whole, and asks what the government can do to unlock the next step in Pakistan’s mineral journey.

Mining is a crucial industry in Pakistan, but one which faces a host of challenges. Regional and national governments are working to improve the regulatory and operational landscape for miners and mining companies, but with regional instability and illegal mining pervasive, is there still a long way to go?

Pakistan is a resource-wealthy country with large quantities of coal, iron and copper, as well as gold and gemstones. Currently, Pakistan hosts the world’s second-largest coal deposits with as much as 185 billion tonnes, as well as being the third-largest producer of iron ore pigments.

Pakistan has only begun to scratch the surface of its resource potential. The last few years have seen large mineral deposits being unearthed, including an iron ore body in the central province of Punjab. This discovery, announced in 2015, reportedly contains an estimated 500 million tonnes (Mt) of iron ore and is owned by the Metallurgical Corporation of China.

However, a history of corruption and illegal mining has deterred international investment in the mining industry. Globally, mining has a long history of operating in dangerous and underdeveloped areas, but the insecurity of assets in Pakistan continues to deter many companies from investing.

A moratorium on mining excavation in the northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province was introduced eight years ago, but this has been repealed by an ordinance in August 2016. The ordinance brings in a series of regulations that the local government claims will increase international investment, but some have reacted with anger. The province, which has been plagued by illegal mining, highlights the widespread problems affecting the country as a whole.

Illegal competition
Illegal mining has flourished in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa since the ban; as legitimate mining efforts have ceased, mafia groups and other gangs have taken over. GlobalData head of research and analysis for mining Clifford Smee says the mafia’s presence is unsurprising, as “mining needs a somewhat sophisticated organisation to successfully operate”.

“Illegal mining is always an issue in developing countries,” Smee adds. “We see large illegal mining in major producing countries such as Indonesia (100Mt of coal is illegally mined), and we have seen issues with illegal mining in neighbouring India.

“Typically, illegal mining flourishes in periods of high prices, such as the high coal and iron ore prices which drove illegal mining of these commodities in South East Asia during the Chinese mining super cycle,” Smee continues.

"Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is an area rich in gems and semiprecious stones, with Swat alone boasting 70 million carats of emerald reserves."
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is an area rich in gems and semiprecious stones, with Swat alone boasting 70 million carats of emerald reserves. The Mardan district has nine million carats of pink topaz reserves while Kohistan has ten million carats of peridot, all of which are currently being illegally traded by organised gangs.


February 8, 2017 at 5:18 PM  

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