Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Message from the Chief Minister Punjab

Pakistan is blessed with a complex and highly prospective geology which has already demonstrated the potential for hosting rich mineral deposits of copper, gold, iron, coal and numerous other commodities. The development and exploitation of this mineral wealth is an important component of our national and provincial strategies to drive rapid and high economic growth and to reduce our reliance on imported commodities.

The Punjab Government’s vision for growth and self-sufficiency encompasses a proactive and outward looking drive to attract foreign investment and to stimulate opportunities for public-private partnerships.

The Punjab Mineral Company (PMC) has been entrusted with the exploration, development and exploitation of economic mineralization within the Province of Punjab. This is being successfully achieved through the judicious application of modern technology and global best practice.

The flagship Chiniot Iron Ore Project has been under development since 2014 and now, with the completion of the updated mineral resource statement, is an integral part of the province’s steel production strategy. The development programme was completed by the WSGRI Consortium (China), as Contractor, and Geo-RC Consortium (Germany & Pakistan) as the overseeing Resident Consultant. Both were appointed through an international competitive bidding process. In turn, BAW (Canada) provided the independent Qualified Person (QP) services for the completion of a technical report, written to the Canadian National Instrument 43-101 standard.

The studies to date indicate the potential for the development of an iron ore mine which in turn may herald a new age of metallic resource mining and the downstream development of an indigenous steel mill. Along with the provincial energy development plan, the steel production strategy will prove to be a game changer for the province and the country at large vis-à-vis employment, revenues, secondary and tertiary sector stimulation and GDP growth.

Not content with the significant progress made to date, PMC has developed and is now implementing a second phase of development and exploration to further enhance the geological understanding of the province’s natural resources and to assist with the restructuring of the province’s ability to manage and exploit such resources.

In parallel with these initiatives PMC has appointed a consortium of international Transaction Advisors, led by DMT (Germany), to advance the economic and commercial aspects of the Chiniot project and to select concessionaires/investor(s) for both the mining of the iron ore and the establishment of a steel mill in Punjab.

Once in production, the mine and the mill will catalyze private-sector led economic growth, generate employment and reduce the import deficit. Dr. Arshad Mahmood CEO PMC is ensuring a high standard of work on all projects.

In summary, the Government of Punjab is moving steadily towards the vision of increased prosperity for the people of the province and firmly placing the province on the international mining map. Even though the challenge is great, I strongly believe in our ability to accomplish what has not been achieved earlier and to continue to move steadily towards a brighter future for our people.

Mian Shehbaz Sharif
Chief Minister Punjab