KP’s treasure of precious metals awaits exploration

ISLAMABAD: A treasure trove of minerals in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province awaits exploration, says Muhammad Yaqoob Shah, Principal Geo-scientist at the Global Mining Company, Islamabad while talking to WealthPK.

Yaqoob said the earthen folds in the KP province hide a wealth of precious and base minerals. Discussing the most talked about minerals, i.e., silver, cobalt, copper, etc., he said a potential target having all the discussed minerals in a belt is proven through extensive research and laboratory analysis.

Yaqoob, who is also former general manager geology at the Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation (PMDC), said it is an extensive but intermittently exposed pyrite zone at a linear distance of about 3km. It is situated at the interaction of phyletic schist of “The Tanwal formations”(Cambrian) and “Mansehra Granite” (Ordovician) to the west of Batagram village in Mansehra district of KP province.

He said a megascopic study of freshly broken rock fragments in an internationally recognized laboratory has proved the presence of different minerals and essentially elemental minerals, e.g., sulfur (21.98%), iron (28%), cobalt (500 g/t), copper (300 g/t), gold (0.08 g/t), and silver (3.60 g/t).
Apart from gold, silver, and other minerals, it is an extensive treasure of cobalt (widely used for industrial purposes and rare earth and strategic mineral as well). The KP government must consider it on a priority basis. “It should be explored in more detail and developed and mined for the vast socio-economic and strategic benefit of Pakistan,” added Yaqoob, who is also a member of the National Council for Marble & Granite and Minerals.
All the aforementioned essentially elemental minerals, precious and base minerals, etc., have a great economic scope and tactical value. Pakistan can not only earn significant profits by mining them but can also make its own industry sound.