Karachi: After Thar, the coal reserves of approximately 1.785 billion tonnes have been discovered in Badin district, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, who also holds the portfolio of Coal & Energy Development, said.
In his written answer to the question of Heer Soho, lady MPA of MQM, during the question hour of Sindh Assembly’s budget session on Thursday, Shah told that the exploration of coal reserves was carried out by the Geological Survey of Pakistan in collaboration with the United States Geological Survey in 1992 near Khorwah, where two coal beds having thickness of 0.2 million and 0.35 million were encountered. In another well two coal beds of 0.9 million and 0.30 million were encountered.
The chief minister further told that in 2006 Geological Survey of Pakistan drilled few holes and confirmed the reserves of coal. Northeast Coalfields Geological Survey Bureaus drilled 22 boreholes over an area of 510km in the vicinity of Golarchi and confirmed presence of coal.
On another question by the same member, the chief minister in his reply said that China clay is found in Nagarparkar of Tharparkar district over an area of 98 kilometers of which 65 to 70 kilometers have been granted to various parties. Around 20 mills of washing the China clay are established in the area. He told that 40 mining lease/permits have been granted to different parties. The applications for lease/permit are received along with a fee of Rs 10, 000 and after approval Rs 20 per acre per year are charged while Rs 10,000 are charged as security deposit and Rs 20,000 as demarcation fee. Further, Rs 12 per ton is charged as royalty.
In response to a question by another lady MPA Nusrat Sehar Abbasi, Shah said the government of Sindh is working on four projects of processing facilities for producing coal gas by underground gasification and also producing electricity from coal gas. Federal government would fund all the projects.
To a question by Muhammad Adil Khan, the chief minister informed the house that 225 metric tonnes and 076 metric tonnes marble was mined from Thatta district during the year 2008 and 2009 respectively. The revenue so generated was Rs 584,935 and Rs 593,300 respectively. The royalty is collected by the contractor at the rate of Rs 20 per ton.
On Syeda Marvi Rashdi’s question, the chief minister said that the Thar Coal and Energy Board has offered allocation of different blocks of Thar coalfield for open cast mining to different companies. The underground coal gasification project by Dr Samar Mubarakmand has successfully conducted test burn on December 11 and syngas is being produced. Similarly, for the underground coal gasification, Couger Energy of UK has been conducting desk studies since 2009 for development of coal gas and establishment of power plant of 400MW. The company has not provided target date of generation of gas.
He told the house on a question by Humera Alwani that limestone, marble, fire clay, silica sand, dolomite, sand stone, flint stone, bentonite, chalk, shale clay, reti/bajri and laterite are found in Thatta district. He declined that reti/bajri is being stolen on large scale from the limits of Thatta and Karachi.On a question by Bilquees Mukhtiar, the chief minister told that the coal found at Lakhra, Sonda, Meting (Jhimpir), Badin and Thar is of lignite.Provincial ministers Ayaz Soomro and Jam Madad Ali replied the answers of the members on behalf of the chief minister. Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro was in the chair.