ISLAMABAD: The government should devise a plan to tap the gold and silver deposits in the Lutkho valley of Chitral district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province for the socioeconomic benefit of the locals and the development of the country’s mining sector.
“The ample deposits of gold and silver are found in the hydrothermal veins and stock works in the valley. It is important that the government devises a policy to extract such a wealth for socioeconomic prosperity of all the stakeholders in the mining sector,” said Muhammad Yaqub Shah, a member of the sectoral council for marble, granite and minerals, the ministry of finance.
Talking to WealthPK, he said stibnite and other precious metals were found in ore, containing considerable amounts of gold and silver. “The sulphosalt mineral group bearing these precious components is technically called boulangerite. This ore is naturally found in a bluish hue but the presence of some other inclusions tints it from dark grey to jet black. The occurrence of this extensive mineral group is uncommon, but nature has generously gifted Pakistan with this exquisite mineral. Other minerals commonly associated with sulphosalt ore are siderite, pyrite, quartz, arsenopyrite, arsenic/bismuth, etc.”
Muhammad Yaqub, who is also a principal geologist at Global Mining Company, Islamabad, said that it was discovered in Pakistan in 1974-75 and re-confirmed by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in 1980-81. According to its report published in 1981, tin, vanadium, and other metals/minerals were also found in these deposits. In another detailed investigation performed by Austrian geologist Dr H Gamerith during 1988-89, the analysis of 136 samples showed the occurrence of gold at 50g/t, silver at 470g/t, antimony at 14%, lead at 38%, etc. A recent chemical analysis report found the anomalous occurrence of gold and silver even in the weakly mineralised ore. This potential of gold and silver is overshadowing the higher contents of other existing minerals there, he explained.
Muhammad Yaqub called for devising a plan to exploit great deposits found in Lutkho valley.
It is to mention here that all the major and associated minerals/metals found in the sulphosalt mineral group are widely used for industrial purposes. Their processing and value-added marketing can uplift Pakistan’s mining sector. –INP