ISLAMABAD, Jan 4 (APP):The government has released around Rs 9.327 million for ongoing projects of the Petroleum and Natural Resources Division under the Public Sector Development Programme  (PSDP 2018-19) during two quarters of the current fiscal year against the total allocation of Rs 463.175 million.According to the official data, an amount of Rs 2.747 has been released for appraisal of newly discovered coal resources of Badin coal field and its adjoining areas of southern Sindh, Rs 2.921 million for exploration and evaluation of mettalic minerals in Uthal and Bela areas of district Lasbella, Balochistan and Rs 3.659 for assessment of coal potential in Nosham and Bahlol areas of Balochistan.
	Meanwhile, official sources told APP that drilling activities in the Badin coal field have been accelerated for appraisal of huge coal reserves confirmed by the Geological Survey of Pakistan.
"Drilling of 9 bore holes with a cumulative depth of 3,660 meters, have been completed in Pingrio, Jhudo, Tando Bagho and Nando Town, Badin Bypass and Kingri areas in district Badin and surrounding areas, where coal seams encountered in all holes in various depths," they said.
	The sources said experts had collected core samples, completed their chemical analysis and geological logging of the exploratory boreholes.
	Answering a question, the sources informed that two newly purchased multipurpose drilling rigs had been deployed at the Badin coal project site to carry out the drilling activities around the clock, adding that mud pits, foundation for rigs, ramps and mud ways had been prepared for the purpose.
	The coal deposits are estimated to be over one billion tones, they said and added "the coal is of good quality and high heating value."
	Besides, the sources said that there were substantial deposits of gold, copper and more than 200 million tonnes of iron ore but these could not be exploited or utilized because of lack of infrastructure and technology.
	Recent geological investigations have shown that 186 billion tonnes of coal reserves exist in different parts of the country, which could be used as a primary and inexpensive source for power generation.
	"More than 184 billion tonnes deposits are located in Sindh province, with Thar coal field being the largest followed by Thatta-Sonda, Lakhra and Jhimpir. The coal is lignite to lignite-A to sub bituminous B&C in character with an average heating value of 6000 BTU/lb," the sources said.