LAHORE: Pakistan has discovered a gold mountain in Punjab province, which Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today said could boost the country’s struggling economy.
The reserves were found at Rajua in Chiniot district, around 165 kilometres from Lahore, by Chinese group the Metallurgical Cooperation of China, officials said today.
Initial estimates indicated that 500 million tonnes of iron ore – a primary ingredient in steelmaking – had been discovered, officials said today.
Studies are being conducted currently in 28 sq kms of area, and initial findings showed that there was high probability of presence of good quality deposits in around 2000 sq kms, particularly in south and south eastern parts of Chiniot city, the officials said.
Speaking at the site after getting a briefing on the discovery of gold ore deposits, the Prime Minister today said it will go a long way in bringing prosperity to the country and will end its “begging bowl” culture.
“It is Allah’s blessing that under the lush green fields rich deposits of gold and silver have been found, which will help the country get rid of the ‘begging bowl’ for good,” Sharif said.
Punjab Mineral Company Chairman Samar Mubarakmand, while briefing the Prime Minister, said there were indications of large gold deposits.
Sharif was informed that with the assistance of Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC), a feasibility study had been completed in around nine-month time, whereas it was to be completed in 18 months.
Sharif was shown through graphs and 3-D models the details of the deposits and informed that there was also probability of finding copper and gold deposits in the area.
The Prime Minister lauded the expertise and hard work of the Pakistani metallurgical experts and scientists and also hailed the German consultant firm GEOS for supervising the work.
Sharif said: “Ruling Pakistan is not a bed of roses, rather it is a big challenge and his government is bracing all the issues with courage, zeal, dedication and a commitment to bring about a positive change in the country.”
He said major challenges for him were security, bringing peace to the country and ending shortage of electricity and natural gas.