QUETTA: The Balochistan government has decided to make two recently established mineral exploration companies autonomous.
Presiding over a meeting on Wednesday, Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani reviewed the affairs of mineral companies, including the Balochistan Mineral Exploration Company and Balochistan Mineral Resources Company.
The meeting decided to provide legal protection to these companies for making mineral projects under public-private partnership and getting mining leases by introducing new clauses in their rules.
Provincial Mines and Mineral Development Secretary Zafar Bukhari briefed the meeting on affairs and objectives of the two companies.
Government will provide legal cover to Mineral Exploration Company and Mineral Resources Company
The chief minister told the meeting that the objective of establishing these companies was to explore and develop mineral resources in Balochistan and utilising these resources for economic stability of the province.
He said several countries having mineral resources have developed by adopting better policies and using latest technology.
“We need to evolve a comprehensive mineral policy and using modern technology for developing our mineral resources,” Mr Alyani said.
The chief minister directed the authorities to induct experts in the board of directors of mineral companies for making them more effective.
“Establishment of these companies will improve and transform the mining sector in Balochistan and enable the province to make rapid development in the mineral sector,” he added.
Mr Alyani said the private sector should be included in three marble city projects under the public-private partnership and cooperation should be sought from international companies for conducting surveys for exploration of minerals.
The mines and minerals development secretary informed the meeting that the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan has registered the Balochistan Mineral Resources Company.
The Board of Directors of the company would be established soon, he added.
Mr Bukhari said the Balochistan government had 90 per cent share and the federal government would have 10pc in both the companies and an agreement had already been signed in this regard. He said Rs3.2 billion funds will be provided to the companies during the first two years. The Balochistan government has allocated Rs1.44bn for the mines and mineral sectors.
He informed the meeting that Rs100 million had been allocated for Mines Resource Mapping, Rs300m for training of officers, Rs70m for installation of digital mines, Rs500m for establishment of a mineral complex and Rs10m for setting up of Duki mining resource centre.
Mr Bukhari said that the federal government had also allocated Rs300m for establishing a metal park.
Plants will also be set up at a cost of Rs2,300m at Muslim Bagh Chromite processing plant, Coal Washing Plant at Quetta, barite grinding Plant at Lasbela and marble cutting plants at Dalbandin, Khuzdar, Loralai and Bela, he said.
Information Secretary Shah Irfan Gharsheen, finance department’s special secretary Lal Jan Jaffar, the director general of mines and minerals department and other officials concerned also attended the meeting.
Published in Dawn, September 3rd, 2020