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Business & Finance

Pakistan’s first mineral processing project in Balochistan eyes $250mn exports

  • Balochistan government signs joint venture agreement with Platinum Mining Company to develop country’s first mineral processing project in the province
Published August 31, 2023

The Balochistan government has signed on Thursday a joint venture agreement with Platinum Mining Company (PMC), a private entity, to develop the country’s first mineral processing project in the province.

The agreement was signed at the provincial government’s Balochistan Mineral Resources Limited (BMRL) office, Quetta.

The company plans to value-add and convert raw fluorite ore into acid grade calcium fluoride that will be sold as a feedstock to many chemical industries established internationally. Calcium Fluoride (CaF2) is also known as fluorite or fluorspar.

Director PMC Ismail Suttar signed the agreement with Balochistan Mineral Resource Limited, which was represented by its Managing Director Saeed Sarpara. The signing was witnessed by Minister of Mines and Minerals Umair Hasni.

“We can reach a capacity of producing 250,000 tons in the second year after producing 60,000 to 100,000 tons in the first year,” Suttar told Business Recorder.

Suttar added that 100% of the fluorspar produced will be exported initially. However, he expects that there will soon be businesses that would be able to use fluorspar to produce Freon – a highly processed gas used in refrigerators.

“This joint venture can lead to exports of $250 million annually. Roughly the same quantity is being exported for just $60 million in raw form,” said Suttar, who is also President of the Lasbela Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“We are exporting raw ore at a minimum price that is converted into valuable products like steel, chemicals, and ozone-friendly refrigerants in countries like China, Turkey, USA etc and is re-purchased by Pakistan at extremely high price.

“If we wish to straighten our trade balance deficit, we have to start developing value-added products,” he added.

After through research, PMCL and Lasbela chamber established that the average available fluorite resource in the district of Loralai is found to be 1.6 million tons. The company will start extraction in the region and will convert this available raw ore into acid grade calcium fluorite in its production facility installed in Hub, Balochistan.

Suttar added that the government’s BMRL will enjoy a share of 5% from the profits without having to invest in the project.

MD Sarpara said the agreement is the first of its kind which is not only restricted to mining but also explores the avenues of value-addition and identified this project at a worth of Rs3 billion.

Minister of Mines and Minerals, Umair Hasni congratulated PMC and BMRL and thanked Suttar for his unwavering support and efforts to develop this precious sector.

Suttar said that Pakistan is not an export-oriented country at the moment and this JV is a stepping stone that will be a gateway for the establishment of new industries, enhancement of trade through exports of value-added products and tapping new regional and export markets.


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Tariq Qurashi Sep 01, 2023 12:42pm
This is a good initiative. Exporting all our ore to be processed abroad does not make as much money for the country as processing the ore here.
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Az_Iz Sep 01, 2023 08:56pm
Very good. Need more such initiatives, including pink salt from Khewra mines. Value addition is the way to go.
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Chitra Karunakaran Sep 02, 2023 08:12am
Bilal Hussain has maintained high journalism standards in researching and writing this article. We need critical geopolitical, evidence-based reasoning, transparency & the Rule of Law across our media, throughout our region. Thank you
thumb_up Recommended (0) reply Reply
Tulukan Mairandi Sep 02, 2023 12:15pm
250 million export over 20 years? Wow what a vision.
thumb_up Recommended (0) reply Reply
Waqass Sep 02, 2023 02:23pm
Of this MoU succeeded then it will bring huge investment in the country
thumb_up Recommended (0) reply Reply

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