ISLAMABAD: A Chinese firm AMLONG has shown interest in setting up a steel mill of one million tons at Kalabagh based on local iron ore deposits. The Chinese Prime Minister during his recent visit to Pakistan was accompanied by over 200 delegates, including high officials, industrialists, businessmen and investors. AMLONG was also part of the delegation.The company officials held meetings with various government organizations including Ministry of Industries and Production, said an EDB statement issued on Wednesday.On the directives of the Ministry of Industries & Production, Engineering Development Board (EDB) gave a detailed presentation on the iron-ore deposits available at Makarwal and Chichali and other raw materials available in the same vicinity.The delegation showed keen interest in the project and requested CEO, EDB Aitazaz A. Niazi to arrange a visit to the site. Accordingly, a seven-member delegation led by S.M. Adil Shah, General Manager, EDB visited Makarwal/ Chichali iron ore deposits on January 10-11.The officials of AMLONG expressed satisfaction on the iron ore deposits available at Kalabagh, the infrastructure and the proposed site for establishment of the steel mill.
S.H. Farooqi, a leading geologist, briefed the delegation about the iron ore deposits in the area and the prospects of establishing a steel mill based on local iron ore.
The delegation was provided all the necessary information including maps, composition of the ores, quantum of deposits and reports prepared in the past.The proven reserves at the Kalabagh iron ore deposit, whicic is the largest one in Pakistan, are around 350 million tones.In addition, the iron ore deposits in Makerwal range which are spread over 83 Km long belt up to Pezu district Bannu are estimated to be around 600 million tons. Iron (Fe) content varies between 32 to 38.6%.Kalabagh is considered to be a natural site for setting up of a steel mill by virtue of the fact that all necessary raw materials like dolomite, lime stone, clay etc are abundantly available in the same vicinity.Presently, Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) is the only integrated mill in the country with a capacity of 1.1 million tones per annum, which is based on 100 per cent imported ore and coke.The EDB is making efforts for utilization of local raw materials to save valuable foreign exchange. The setting up of a steel mill in the backward area of Kalabagh will not only help generate employment for thousands of locals but will also result in development of the infrastructure which in turn will improve the quality of life of the people of that area – APP