Government to invite tender for Chiniot iron mine next year

ISLAMABAD: The government will launch an international tender next year for the installation of a state-of-the-art steelworks complex and the extraction of quality iron ore, raw copper, graphite and of gold from the earth’s crust in the province of Punjab.

German, Chinese and Turkish companies have published the feasibility report of the presence of high-grade iron – 60 to 80% – at Chiniot after drilling up to 800 meters. A Swiss laboratory also tested the samples.

According to the feasibility report, Chiniot and its suburbs, with an area of ​​10 to 15 square kilometers, have 250 million tons of high-grade iron. Large and experienced multinational companies from Germany, Korea, China and Turkey have shown interest in mining and setting up the factories. The mills will be as big as Pakistan Steel Mills in Karachi with a production of one million tons per year.

According to the report, the German, Chinese and Turkish companies had drilled up to 8.4 kilometers to discover the presence of metals under the umbrella of the Punjab Mineral Company. According to the report – after including all expenses – iron will cost 25-30% less than international prices. The deposits will not be exhausted even after 50 years of exploitation.

Another report from German experts and geologists is expected in December this year. The iron will be extracted from the ore using the Corex process, a greener alternative to the blast furnace. The Punjab Mineral Company was established in 2011-2012 by then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The famous industrialist Mian Mansha was its first president.

Laura J. Boyer