TAXILA: The Punjab Mines and Minerals Department has launched a multi-million project for evaluation of placer gold deposits in Indus River in Attock in collaboration with the Geological Survey of Pakistan.

Additional Secretary Mines and Minerals Department retired Captain Waqas Rasheed along with officials of the Geological Survey of Pakistan visited the site of the project at Attock Kurd on Tuesday.

Talking to newsmen, Mr Rasheed said that the evaluation project would be completed at a cost of Rs48.2 million and a detailed report will be prepared by June 2023.

Resounding to a question, he said that the assessment project was being implemented with the help of drone technology, magnet, geology survey, induced polarisation and sampling. He added that through further drilling, sampling of underground material will be done in the promising area.

He said that Punjab was very rich in mines and minerals and each district had some distinctive wealth in its geological structures and topography.

Mr Rasheed said there was a dire need for search and exploration, adding development and prosperity depended on the proper use of resources.

It may be recalled that in September 2019, the Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) had registered a case against six persons, including five officials of the Mines and Minerals Department, for alleged illegal extraction of gold worth millions of rupees on the pretext of quarrying gravel and sand from the Indus River near Attock.

Subsequently, the government planned to carry out an evaluation study of placer gold deposits in Indus River and its leasing to increase funds.

Published in Dawn, January 25th, 2023

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