The mineral sector has not been developed in Pakistan because it has not gone beyond the geological mapping and mineral exploration stage by and large.
The integrated role of geology, mining and metallurgy/ beneficiation has not been institutionalised to develop the natural resources in the country.
The mineral sector organisations such as Geological Survey of Pakistan, Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation and Pakistan Council of Scientific Research should play an integrated role to prepare pre-feasibility studies based on the modern concepts of mineral modelling.
The controversy of Reko Diq is due to this neglect and ignorance of already available research studies on Chaghi metallogenic belt in north western part of Balochistan.
Dozens of research papers and reports are available on porphyry deposits containing copper, molybdenum and gold in Chaghi metallogenic belt by GSP, UNDP and other international experts of repute.
The prominent cu porphyry type deposits distributed in Chaghi area are Saindak (leased to Chinese), Koh-i-Dalil (Reko Diq), Durban Chah, Dashte Kain, Ziarat Pir Sultan, Siah Koh, and a host of others.
GSP's geologists Bhutta and Asad have published and unpublished reports in national and international journals on sulphide mineralisation in Chaghi.
Besides this, world renowned experts on porphyry copper and metallogeny, like Schmidt, Sillitoe and Jankovic have published research papers and reports along with GSP geologists.
Research and development (R&D) in mineral sector is criminally neglected while mineral resource cannot be developed and utilised without R & D.
Therefore, it is important that the full potential of all the mineral organisations should be put into operation, so that the stigma of less than one per cent contribution of mineral sector in national economy should be washed away.
MIRZA TALIB HASSAN Karachi
Need for local ownership The multi-billion-dollar Reko Diq copper-and-gold project is located in Chaghi district of Balochistan. It is the first large scale mining project in Pakistan.
According to reports, Reko Diq has the fifth largest reserves of gold and copper in the world and under the raw material agreement Pakistan will get $40 billion in 30 years.
What benefit will Pakistan get from it? A foreign company is developing the project and according to the agreement, Pakistan will receive 50 per cent while the foreign company will receive the rest.
The provincial government will receive only two per cent while the federal government will get 48 per cent. This is unfair to the province.
Pakistan will earn two billion dollars a year if it were to mine and refine gold and bronze from Reko Diq, otherwise it will only get $160 million in royalties.
This project should be given to a Pakistani company as it will benefit Pakistan. It is in Pakistan's national interest to take up the project on its own.
The Reko Diq project could also help reduce unemployment. I entreat the Supreme Court to take strict notice and save Pakistan's reserves.
NAZISH SALEEM ABBASI Karachi