One of the important industries to the econotmy of Pakistan is the mining industry. The county has deposits of several minerals including coal, chromite, mineral salt, bauxite, copper and gold. Semi- precious minerals such as aquamarine, topaz, peridot, emerald and rare earth minerals like sphene, xenotime, tourmaline and bastnaesite and different varieties of quartz are found while mining in Pakistan.
The Pakistan mineral development corporation is responsible for support and development of the mining industry. Currently fifty-two minerals are mined and processed in the country. Pakistan is a major importer of gold which satisfies its Industrial needs and more of consumption in jewelry.
There are many areas in Pakistan where gold has been found. It is a fact that many of the rivers and river beds in Pakistan are sources of placer gold deposits.
In northern Pakistan, placer gold deposits are recovered by gold panning and other basic methods. This has been done here for centuries.
Gold exploration and mineral assessment project of Pakistan assisted by the Australian Government, revealed many rivers that contain detectable gold that have good potential for future exploration.
The Saindak Copper/Gold mine is located near Saindak in the Chagai District of Baluchistan. The discovery of copper deposits was made in 1970 with collaboration with a Chinese engineering firm and the project was set up and by end of 1995.
13.5 million dollars were invested by the government of Pakistan in the project. For developing the Saindak mine, a formal contract for $350 million was entered into with China Metallurgical Group Corporation during 2002 and the mine was leased for a period of ten years.
The lease was further extended by another 5 years from October, 2012. Ore reserve to the tune of 412 million are estimated to be available in the Saindak Mine, with an average of 0.5 gram of gold per ton and 1.5 gms of silver per ton. The mine is capable of producing 1.5 tons of gold annually.
In the Reko Diq mines of Baluchistan, deposits of copper and gold with a value up to $500 billion are estimated and it holds about 5.9 billion tonnes of ore, making it the fifth largest deposit in gold and copper. Antofagasta, the company possessing the Reqi Diq field has targeted an initial production of 1, 70,000 MT of copper and 3, 00,000 ounces of gold a year.
Sarhad Development authority has reported its finding of several gold bearing horizons in the region of Chitral. The mineralized horizon contains the mineral boulangerite which carries significant amount of silver and gold. Gold, silver and copper anomalies are also found near the village of Zaluka, Dir. Sample analyzed from this zone contains 3-11 ppm gold along with silver and copper content.
Despite potential of gold mining available in Pakistan, uncertainty surrounds the future of world class gold mines in Pakistan due to the poor handling of the projects by the Regional authorities.
Recently Pakistan had discovered a gold source that is the second biggest near the district of Chiniot which is in the Punjab province. Estimates say that this district may contain up to 500 million tons of gold in its 28 km area and will have a total worth of about a trillion dollars.
There are many gold mines in Pakistan which is operated by Barrick Gold.
Reko Diq’s mineral resource estimates to about 5.9 billion tons with average gold grade (0.22 g per tonne) and average copper grade (0.41%). This attributes to about 37.5% and is worth about 2.2 bn tonnes.
Reko Diq is very famous for its reserves of Copper and Gold and it is the 5th largest gold mine in the whole world.