ISLAMABAD, Feb 7 (APP): Around
Rs. 500 million value of gemstones are extracted annually from Gilgit-Baltistan
and efforts are underway to explore other precious minerals.It has been
confirmed that nearly all valleys in Gilgit-Baltistan are shedding gold and base
metals but the need is investment to explore them in order to change fate of the
area. As per surveys conducted for gold and base metals carried by Pakistan
Mineral Development Corporation (PMDC) and on the basis of Geo-chemical and hard
rock samples, around 11 prospect areas confirmed gold value ranging from 0.10 to
24 Parts Per Million (PPM) in hard rock while 5 PPM gold is economical in the
world, Tourism and Mineral Department official in GB told APP here Sunday.
The official said a total
number of 3947 geo-chemical stream sediment samples were collected from less
then one sqkm to 250 sqkm, covering 45,500 sqkm gold anomalies alone counted
over 100, ranging in content from 5 PPM to 300 PPM. Around 500 samples were
collected from hard rock including river floats and out crops.
A total of 50 samples
pertaining to 10 areas conform gold values ranging from 0.10 ppm to 24.0 ppm
according to laboratory reports, the official said and added the gold washers
still recover gold from placer deposits of Gilgit-Baltistan.
The area is also rich with
white colour Marble deposits of Shigar (Skardu), Nasirabad (Hunza) and Gupis (Ghizer)
which are considered to be of international standard.
The other gemstones which are
extracted from the area include Ruby, Emerald, Sapphire, Aquamarine, Tourmaline,
Garnet, Fluorite, Pargasite, Spinal, Zircon, Topaz, Berylspar, Corundum,
Marganite, Serpentine, Sulpher, Moonstone, Amethyst.
The official said local
administration was taking a major policy initiative to expand mineral sector of
Gilgit-Baltistan and also encouraging local as well foreign investment in the
Accordingly, many exploration
licenses and mining leases have been granted to national and foreign investors
and more applications for licenses are under process.