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Friday, November 15, 2019



  • Iron ore deposits are located in the Surgher Range in Trans Indus (Across River Indus) from Kalabagh to Makarwal over a stretch length of 75 KM in District Mianwali.
  • The Surghar Range extends from Kalabagh to Mala Khelin East-West trend, then bends towards Makawal in North –South fashion.
  • The area is located at the Punjab and Khyber PakhtoonKhaw (KPK) Provincial boundary.
  • The deposits at places, extend from Punjab to KPK.
  • The area is approachable from Kalabagh  toMakarwal via Chapri-MallaKhelhrough a sing
  • le road along the foot hilsl (motorable in fair weather).


  • These deposits are sedimentary in origin and associated with Chichali Formation of Cretaceous age.
  • The Chichali Formation is overlain by the Lumshival Formation and above Lumshiwal Formation coal bearing Hangu Formation of Paleocene age lies in Makarwal area.
  • Outcrops of the deposits are exposed at various places throughout stretch length from Kalabagh to Makarwal.
  • The deposits are well developed at four locations including Kutch, Chughlan, Chichali, and Makarwal.
  • The dip varies from 35°-40°.
  • These deposits contain carbonate, oxide and silicate minerals of iron.
  • Three types of the ore bodies are identified which include:-
    • Chichali type (glauconite, siderite, limonite), 4 meters thick
    • Kutch type (chemosite, sidrite, limonite), 3 meters thick
    • Makerwal type (goethite, sidrite, chlorite and quartz), 7 meters thick
  • The beds/ ore bodies are named by their localities, where they predominate. For ease of understand, Kuch Bed and Chichali Bedtogether will be referred to as “Upper Bed ”, while Makerwal Bed as “Lower Bed ”.
  • According to studies undertaken by United Nations Special Fund in collaboration with Geological Survey of Pakistan (GSP) and Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), estimated reserves of these deposits are about 298 million M. T which include:-
    • Chichali type, 213 Million Tones,including 150  Million Tones as proved through 5 bore holes
    • Kutch type, 35 Million Tones
    • Makerwal type, 50 Million Tones
  • Kuch Type deposits are localized and tectonically disturbed ,and those of Makaerwal Type, vertically and horizontally heterogeneous.
  • Chichali type deposits in upper bed are rather uniform and homogeneous. Main work regarding beneficiation and metallurgical process has been done on said deposits.


  • Basic ingredients to process the ore including coal, limestone, dolomite are locally available in the vicinity.
  • The main hurdle against commercial utilization of the deposits are;-
    • Complex nature of the ore .
    • Associated gangue minerals.
    • Economic aspects involved in processing.
  • Different studies to develop/ process ore from 1953 onward were based on:-
    • Beneficiation of ore after reduction/ roasting in rotary kiln or fluidized bed
    • Sintering and smelting the ore to separate metal phase from slag.
    • Ore dressing method
  • Following research organizations investigated the Kalabagh Irone ore:-
    • Krupp-Renn, Germany (1963)
  • Ore reduced with carbonaceous material (local non coking coal) which produced iron balls. The trials produced impure iron
    • Institut De Recherches de la SideurgieFrancaise, (IRSID, France – 1963-64)
  • Ore sintered and reduced in the blast furnace
  • 1500 / 1800 kg slag per ton of iron produced
  • Successful enrichment of the sinter up to 41% Fe with addition of higher grade ore
    • Salzgitter Trials, Germany (1965)
  • 15,000 tonnes of Chichali ore was smelted using acid practice by using 650 kg coke per tonne of iron produced with 1,540 kg slag. 46 kg oil per tonne iron was injected and average blast temperature was 1035 Cº
    • Association International Pour Les Recherches au bas-fourneau D Ougree (A.I.R.B.O tests) Belgium (1965)
  • Semi large scale trial (1,500 tonnes), ore sintered with limestone with addition of higher grade ore composition 63% Fe
  • Acid burdening was used in the blast furnace with coke rate 800 kg per tonne of ore
  • Result was high silicon and high sulphur pig iron
    • Arthur D. Little Reduction & Beneficiation – USA (1965)
  • Reduced in a fluidized bed by partial combustion of natural gas
  • Product ground and magnetically separated
  • Resulted in 55% iron and 20% silica
  • With finer grind silica reduced to 14% left with 43% of iron values in the concentrate
    • Corporation Direct Reduction Study (half ton) R-N Reduction (USA)
  • Direct reduction by magnetic separation, concentrate up to 80% Fe
  • The process was un-economical
    • Minesotta Resource Research Centre (MRRC) SA(1973-74)
  • Magnetic separation (low intensity), floatation trials. The results were not encouraging
    • Warren Spring Studies (WSS) England (1977)
  • Magnetic separation study, probably siderite was up-graded
    • Study on Makerwal ore Royal Institute of Technical Stockholm (1985)
  • High intensity magnetic separation and floatation tests. Was not found suitable for iron production
  • Lower value of iron and high silica
    • Prospects of Utilization of Chichali iron ore by PCSIR, Lahore (1987)
  • Mineralogical, chemical, magnetic separation and floatation studies were carried out
  • Workshop On Most Appropriate Method for Iron Making From Kalabagh Iron Ore in Pakistan (2005)
  • S.H Farooqui, Chairman Eastern Technique (Pvt) Ltd., Islamabad suggestedthat although Krupp Renn Process has become obsolete in the world and its plants have been closed down even in Germany these days but it suits most to the raw material conditions prevailing in Pakistan i.e. low grade iron ores and lack of coking coals. This direct reduction process is the only process which allows the use of low grade non coking fuels and low grade iron ores. And it has already been successfully tried in Germany on our iron ores with our coals. Smelting Acid Blast Furnace technique was recommended.
  • Feasibility Study for Development & Exploitation of Chichali iron ore & commissioning of steel mill at Kalabagh, study by MCC (2007-08)
  • Beneficiation tests (magnetic separation, shake table, specific gravity separation, magnetic washing, fine separation and roasting test of shake table separation concentrate) were performed, but satisfactory grade and yields of concentrate was not obtained and the concentrate obtained was not suitable as feed ore of BF iron and steel making.