Drought–stricken owners of massive iron ores
Writer: Faraz Baloch
As for as the geological importance of Balochistan is concerned, it is index generously bestowed by major raw materials including iron ore, coal, and manganese, which are being judiciously utilized for the production of steel, generating of power to run the industrial machinery of Pakistan, metallurgy, refectories, fluxes, and fillers respectively.
The comparative advantages, international and regional importance of coastal belt, resourceful localities of this region and rout to central Asian countries have earned an international concern and this has been always a hub for a shift in policies making. Despite this, the importance of its borders that bordering the neighboring countries, Iran and Afghanistan has also attracted the international powers and their vested interests towards itself.
The God gifted resources are that pivotal things which can assist a country in boosting up its very narrower norms of development. But as we come to know about the enormous deposits of various naturally gifted minerals in Balochistan being utilized and exploited, a sense of deprivation and slavery angrily comes to wrap us. Regrettably, Baloch’s every sort of mineral is being extensively put onto exploitations with somehow a slight percent of return for the province which for sure embezzled by the politicians and bureaucrats overwhelmingly. And the public dies of crying for the provision of clean water, better health facilities, and jobs acquisition. It can be inscribed as Baluchistan is a wealthy province with a lesser God.
Iron deposits are the major reservoirs that serve for steel making process but due to the dearth of management and a substantial process of purification many deposits of resources lying waste for many decades in spite of Pakistan’s rapid exploitation process.
In Balochistan iron ore deposits have been found in different localities with major deposits of these costly reservoirs.
Imperatively, from beneficial Iron ores, rocks and minerals; metallic iron can be economically extracted. The ores are usually rich in iron oxides and vary in color from dark grey, bright yellow, deep purple and to rusty red. The iron itself is usually found in the form of magnetite (Fe3O4), hematite (Fe2O3), goethite (FeO (OH)), limonite (FeO (OH).n (H2O) or siderite (FeCO3).
The various types of iron have their enormous importance and use scientifically.
Ores carrying very high quantities of hematite or magnetite (greater than ~60% iron) are known as “natural ore” or “direct shipping ore”, meaning they can be fed directly into iron-making blast furnaces. Most reserves of such ore have now been depleted owing to excessive extraction and untimely utilization. Iron ore is the raw material used to make pig iron, which is one of the main raw materials to make steel and 98% of the mined iron ore is used to make steel.
Indeed, it has been argued that iron ore is more integral to the global economy than any other commodity, except oil. so eventually it can be concluded that it is of utmost importance for the entire world most especially to the countries with much-needed provisions in order to develop its economy. The deposits of very precious resources are plentifully available in wealthy Baluchistan with sufficient quantity that resultantly boosts up any machinery’s economy in a gigantic progressive end.
The reservoir of iron ore have been found in Nokkundi (Chigendik deposit, Pachinko deposits) and Bilband, apart from these major deposits some small deposits of iron ore have been also found at Amirchah, Mashkichah, Zardkoh, Shiakhran, Balenish, and Killikoh.
However, different companies from abroad some and corporations had earliest shown their keen intention to launch projects to implement the latest technology for the up gradation of such ore deposits in order to ensure optimal utilization of the resources.
PIDC (Pakistan industrial development corporation), PCSIR (Pakistan Council of scientific and industries research) and TSML (towering steel, mills) have been long involved for the up gradation of such a large resourceful region’s minerals and they have tirelessly worked in a great extent taking out the mineral deposits of the land whose natives cry even for provision of quality education and infrastructures.
It is pertinent to mention that, TSML is a well-known Saudi’s business group, a subsidiary of Tuwairqi holdings that has declared to join hand with POSCO, (formerly Pohang Iron and Steel Company) of Korea, have the largest steel mills in the world that serves to explore, exploit, beneficiate and palletize iron ores, to launch plans with local corporations for mining of iron ore and set up the projects for beneficiation and pulverization plant in Balochistan.
What was the reason behind the participation of the third largest steel mill in the exploitation of local deposits of iron ore? Perhaps, it does not need very deep seriousness of discussions or it may not allow someone dives in deep thoughts, because this clarifies that the reservoirs are economically very strong enough to attract the focus of worldwide corporations and companies. Sometimes, we hear if the revenue of exploitation of such significant resources to be given honestly then there would not be deprivation, starvation, and frustration among the inhabitants of Balochistan because they undoubtedly will be living luxuriously by the blessings of naturally gifted resources. But it doesn’t happen with the people who are occupied and annexed by a state for illegitimate means of expansion.
Overwhelmingly, the Baloch are kept under the siege of deprivation, starvation, frustration, and harassment since the acquisition intervention of Pakistan. People have been deprived of, subjugated and suppressed to live under the line of poverty. Liberty to them has been a dream since the day it has been colonized.
Let us come to the main theme, Pakistani corporations with international institutes earnestly trying to develop some projects in order to upgrade the low-grade iron ore be used to feed the steel industries. Iron is of with high price and its availability is rapidly becoming difficult so that Pakistani institutes and other international institutes seem to be enthusiastic to initiate timely efforts for the protection of indigenous iron ore resources to collaborate instability of economic and financial development of those concern authorities, allowing the adjacent population untouched in terms of development.
NOKKUNDI IRON ORE:-
Nokkundi iron ore project was set up by PIDC in 1972 to carry out exploration and geological investigations on iron deposits of the area, afterword in 1974 Pakistan’s administrations with its repulsive policy seriously expressed her wishes to work jointly with its counterpart Chinese team for carrying out exploration/geological studies at localities of Chigendik and Parhinkoh, which are about 75 km and 40 km far from Nokkundi district.
As for as the published reports are concerned, in the locality of Chigendik the iron ore deposits was proved to be more than 5 million tons with the average content of 45% predominantly magnetite and in the locality of Pachinkoh the iron ore deposits proved to be about 45 million tons with average content of 49, predominantly magnetite. However, some geologists denied the facts and claim these areas have more reserves than declared officially.
Many metallurgical tests including the tests that were carried out by the Japan’s consulting institute in 1978 had confirmed that the iron ore deposits of these areas can be easily upgraded by the separation of the contents of magnetic to produce the best pellets in the world.
Despite having such valuable assets, the inhabitants of the area are dying due to the dearth of health facilities, compelled to live on the products of livestock, children are shepherd and education to them is a dream in the era of this vast technology.
Dilband iron ore:-
This resource of iron deposits has been discovered at Kalat which is approximately 100 km from Kolpur Railway Station near Quetta, has been estimated with deposits of 200 million tons. This is also a great opportunity to have the worldly valuable resource in the province of indigent who are dying due to starvation. This gesture seems to be a destructive move for deliberately depriving a whole nation to exploit it’s naturally valuable resources. Such a great %age of iron can appropriately help in the enhancement of any country’s economy if being exploited with a translucent purpose. Unluckily the wealthy Balochistan is rich in terms of natural resources but being utilized in a way that cannot bring remuneration to the poverty-stricken people.
The illiteracy rate enhances greatly as the entire nation of a naturally affluent province being kept depressed in all sphere of advancement. Baloch, the possessor of such a lengthy expanded coastal region has a very immense geographical importance in Asia and worldwide as well so that the Chinese government showed their paramount interests of taking the Gawadar port to carry on its exploitation proceeding after assimilating Saindak in a great extent and persuading the Singaporean companies footsteps.
This piece of land on the surface of the earth has turned the faces of many countries to express their appealing desires concerning trade and investment. Enthusiastically, today’s world runs behind reserves which undoubtedly can enrich a country in terms of energy which is a towering need of developed or underdeveloped countries. As far as the role of iron is concerned, it assists to flourish the field of steel mills that can provide very brawny steels to be utilized for different purposes.