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KARACHI: Nuclear science programme of Pakistan might receive a big boost as a result of the recent discovery of “zirconium” and “titanium” in sufficiently large quantities along Cox’s Bazar beach.

Dr I.H. Usmani, Chairman, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) said yesterday [Oct 20] that both the rare metals are used in nuclear and space technology. He described the discovery of the two metals as “one of the most important events which would have great economic scientific impact, by way of addition to the wealth of Pakistan”.

He said plans for the exploitation of Cox’s Bazar beach and deposits were being prepared by the PAEC on the basis of recommendations of the experts from Australia where similar deposits were being exploited commercially.

Dr Usmani said possibilities of a joint venture with Australia or other countries were also being explored by the Atomic Energy Commission for commercial exploration of the Cox’s Bazar deposits.

About the uranium deposits discovered in Dera Ghazi Khan area, the PAEC Chairman said, intensive drilling in the area was being undertaken by the Commission’s geologists and engineers to “prove the extent of uranium deposits”. Occurrence of these deposits, he said, was reported some time ago, which has been confirmed by experts.

Published in Dawn, October 21st , 2018