THIS is with reference to the article ‘Mining dynamics’ (May 4). Years ago, Saudi Arabia had started the process of diver- sifying its revenue stream, moving beyond its dependence on fossil fuel. One of the gold mines in the kingdom was not found feasible at the time, but with the rising price of gold globally, there have been occasions to reconsider the feasibility. Pakistan needs to chart its course with due diligence.

However, it is important that Pakistan should not rely on one source to establish a monopoly over the country’s mining reserves. It should rather explore various options to serve the best interest of Pakistan. Decisions in desperation due to the country’s economic crunch can be devastating.

With the mineral sector falling within the ambit of the 18th Amendment, the provinces should build their own capacity for geological and geophysical studies, leading to the extent of feasibility studies. Moreover, such projects should be advertised internationally and each one be given to the company that gives the best offer and has the potential as well as proven financial and technical capacity to carry out the project. The bidders should have on-ground activities already in the mining sector in other parts of the world.

It is necessary that the hidden wealth of the country should be protected and optimised keeping the best interest of the provinces, the country, and, indeed, the local population inhabiting the land for centuries. An impartial playing field across the whole process is essential.

Abid S. Mustikhan
Former Project Director,
Saindak Copper-Gold Project,
Karachi

Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

China’s concerns
23 Jun, 2024

China’s concerns

Pakistan has no option but to neutralise militant threat to Chinese projects, as well as address its business and political stability concerns.
War drums
23 Jun, 2024

War drums

If it is foolish enough to launch another war in Lebanon, Tel Aviv will be solely responsible for setting the Middle East on fire.
Balochistan budget
23 Jun, 2024

Balochistan budget

BALOCHISTAN’S Rs955.6bn budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 makes many pledges to the poor citizens of Pakistan’s...
Another lynching
Updated 22 Jun, 2024

Another lynching

The chilling alternative to not doing anything — which appears to be the state’s preferred option — is the advent of mob rule.
Tax & representation
22 Jun, 2024

Tax & representation

THE taxation measures outlined in the budget for the incoming fiscal year have triggered a lot of concern among ...
Life of the party?
22 Jun, 2024

Life of the party?

THE launch of Awaam Pakistan, a party led by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and former finance minister...