ISLAMABAD - President Dr Arif Alvi has urged the need for a close, meaningful and effective collaboration among the federal and provincial governments, local authorities, and public and private sectors to promote investment in the mining and minerals sector of the country.

He said this while addressing a meeting of various private and public sector stakeholders relating to the exploration of minerals in Pakistan, at Aiwan-e-Sadr. Senior officials of the Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division), Ministry of Commerce, Federal Board of Revenue, and the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan, attended the meeting. 

Talking on the occasion, the President said that Pakistan was bestowed with enormous high-quality mineral resources, like coal, copper, gold, gemstones, silver and rare metals which need to be explored and mined by employing information-technology-based modern mining tools and processes to realize the full potential of the mining sector of the country to bring visible change in the socio-economic development of the country. 

He said that many parts of Pakistan were rich in minerals, oils, natural gas, rare metals and nuclear substances as well as precious metals, like gold, silver, copper, zinc and many other minerals of industrial use which, if exploited fully by creating state of the art refining and metallurgical processes in the country, could help Pakistan meet the local demand of the industry and would earn precious foreign exchange by exporting value-added mineral and metal products.  

The President said that issues relating to licensing for mining processes needed to be evolved, exports of precious metal appliances and withholding taxation policy needed to be targeted for promoting the exploration of this hidden wealth, besides following the international standards and best practices of mining and exploration. President emphasised the need for using satellite imagery technology and the use of modern mineral detection, analysis and exploration technologies and training of relevant human resources in modern and safe mining methods to make mining processes efficient, effective and safe. He called upon the stakeholders to conduct workshops and seminars to discuss and review the existing policies and relevant laws, rules and procedures and identify the loopholes and develop a comprehensive set of proposals and recommendations for government to factor in while devising policies for the growth and development of mining and mineral explorations in the country.  The President underlined the need to develop an effective research and development mechanism for exploration, refining and creation of value-added mineral products by looping in relevant universities and research and development departments of the public and private sectors. He also called for strengthening the capability and effectiveness of border control to stop unlawful exports and import of mineral and metal-based products to protect the local industry.