Celebration as lead-zinc mining project achieves its full capacity

Updated December 29, 2019

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Duddar lean-zinc mining is situated in Balochistan’s Lasbella district. It is the only underground metal mining project in Pakistan. — Photo courtesy Nadeem Khawar/File
Duddar lean-zinc mining is situated in Balochistan’s Lasbella district. It is the only underground metal mining project in Pakistan. — Photo courtesy Nadeem Khawar/File

DUDDAR: A mining firm, the MCC Huaye, Duddar (MHD) Mining Company (Pvt) Ltd, organised a ceremony at the Duddar lead-zinc project on Saturday to celebrate its success of achieving annual full capacity with 500,000 tonnes.

MCC Resource Development Limited (MRDL) chairman Mr Xuping, mines secretary, Balochistan, Syed Zafar Ali Bukhari, MRDL senior vice president Nawaz Khan in Islamabad, Minerals Ministry of Energy & Petroleum DG Iqbal, Chinese officials and government officials from Islamabad, Karachi and Quetta attended the programme.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Xuping said: “Today, we have a grand gathering to celebrate the historic goal of achieving annual full capacity with 500,000 tonnes of the Duddar lead-zinc project.”

“At this moment, all of the Chinese and Pakistani employees in Duddar are filled with happiness and proud of today’s construction achievement, as well as pleased that we have not disappointed the expectations of Chinese, Pakistani government, and friends from all walks of life.

Duddar is a joint project of China and Pakistan

“When China Huaye Group was entrusted by MCC Group with taking over the Duddar project, we were faced with the harsh geological conditions of the mine and severe market situation,” he added. “Over the years, MCC Hauye Duddar project has overcome difficulties all the way through the vicissitudes of the wind and rain to achieve its goal,” he said.

Duddar lean-zinc mining is situated in Balochistan’s Lasbella district. It is the only underground metal mining project in Pakistan. The project is invested and developed by China Metallurgical Group, and China Huaye Group is responsible for construction and production. Duddar lead-zinc project commenced construction in 2005, and shut down due to the difficult underground mining conditions.

In 2014, MHD took over the right to operate Duddar project through international tendering, as well as started its recovery construction.

In 2019, MHD officials said to have reached the annual full production capacity in December, which is one year ahead of the schedule.

Throwing light on the background of Duddar project, the MRDL senior vice president said, “The systematic investigation of Duddar deposits started in 1980 and $236 million were invested in it to bring it to present stage. Out of this $7m was spent UNDP/PMDC, $20m by Pascminco of Australi, $108m by MCC Duddar Mineral Development Company of China (DMDC) and $101m by MCC Huaye Duddar Mining Compnay (MHD).” “So far, MHD has paid the provincial government of Balochistan Rs1,052.434m as royalty, Rs210.487m the government of Pakistan as presumptive tax, and Rs105.2m EPZA as development surcharge,” he further added.

Mr Bukhari said, “More than 52 minerals are present in Balochistan which has potential to change people’s lives and the fate of the province and country”. According to him, there is a shortage of technical people in Balochistan, which is why the government is striving hard to fulfil this gap.

In his concluding remarks, he said, “In Duddar, the Chinese company has worked more than our expectations. It is the responsibly of the company to provide education, health facilities, and jobs to locals living near the project site. As for the government, the government and mining department will further launch new projects for locals.”

The officials from both China and Pakistan also spoke on the occasion.

Published in Dawn, December 29th, 2019