Mining is an important industry in Pakistan. Pakistan has deposits of several minerals including coal, copper, gold, chromite, mineral salt, bauxite and several other minerals. There are also a variety of precious and semi-precious minerals that are also mined. These include peridot, aquamarine, topaz, ruby, emerald, rare-earth minerals bastnaesite and xenotime, sphene, tourmaline, and many varieties and types of quartz.
The Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation is the responsible authority for the support and development of the mining industry. Gemstones Corporation of Pakistan looks after the interests of stake holders in gem stone mining and polishing as an official entity. Baluchistan is the richest province in terms of mineral resources available in Pakistan. While recently Sindh discovered coal deposits in Thar. Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa is rich in terms of gems. Most of the mineral gems found in Pakistan exists here. Apart from oil, gas and some mineral used in nuclear energy purposes which comes directly under federal control mining of other minerals is provincial issue. Currently around 52 minerals, are mined and processed in Pakistan.
Coal is found in very large quantities in Thar, Chamalang, Quetta and other sites. Thar reserves are estimated to be 850 Trillion Cubic Feet. There is enough coal in Pakistan's Thar area ( though a part of the coal is not of good quality) that it can be used to generate power for the next 100 years without relying on other power sources i.e. hydro/oil resources. In March 2010, Engro Chemical announced that the group is investing a large amount of money to develop coal fields in Pakistan. The chemical company also announced to establish an energy park in UET Lahore, and start research on In-Situ Coal gasification and high pressure transport gasifiers.
Salt has been mined in the region since 320 BC. The Khewra Salt Mines are among the world's oldest and biggest salt mines. Salt is mined at Khewra in an underground area of about 110 square kilometres (42 sq mi). Khewra salt mine has an estimated total of 220 million tonnes of rock salt deposits. The current production from the mine is 325,000 tons of salt per annum.
Copper and goldEdit
In Reko Diq, Baluchistan, deposits of copper and gold are present. Antofagasta, the company which possesses the Reqo Diq field, is targeting an initial production of 170,000 metric tons of copper and 300,000 ounces of gold a year. The project may produce more than 350,000 tons a year of copper and 900,000 ounces of gold. There are also copper deposits in Daht -e- Kuhn, Nokundi, Located in Chaghi district.
Gems and other precious stonesEdit
A number of precious stones are mined and polished for local as well as export purposes. The centre point of this operation is Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa. These include actinolite, hessonite, rodingite, agate, idocrase, rutile, aquamarine, jadeite, ruby, amazonite, kunzite, serpentine, azurite, kyanite, spessartine (garnet), beryl, marganite, spinel, emerald, moonstone, topaz, epidote, pargasite, tourmaline, garnet (alamandine), peridot, turquoise, grossular, quartz (citrine & others) and vesuvianite. The export earned from these gems is more than 200 Million dollars.
Accidents in miningEdit
- On 21 March 2011 at least 45 miners died due to an explosion in a coal mine in Surran range, some 35 km (22 mi) east of the provincial capital, Quetta.
- On 14 of February 2011, 2 Chinese engineers died in a chromite mine collapse in Qila Saifullah, Pakistan 
- On 27 May 2004, 15 miners died after a gas explosion at a coal mine in Baluchistan.
- "Death In The Mines"
- Pakistani Manifestation Condemns Deadly Mine Accident, Inaction in Retrieving the Dead
- "52 Miners Trapped After a Coal Mine Accident in Pakistan
- 2 Chinese engineers die in Pakistan mine collapse
- "Fifteen die in Pakistan coal mine blast"
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