ISLAMABAD - Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources (MPNR) has prepared a comprehensive strategy on mining,cutting, polishing and marketing of gemstones with a view to enhance export.

Gemstones are generally considered as valuable minerals. High quality precious gemstones found in the country, including emerald, ruby, sapphire and topaz etc. are most valuable.

Constitutionally, minerals other than nuclear ones are, Provincial subject. Federal Government is mandated with geological surveys, national policies,plans formulation and coordination at national and international levels, official sources told APP, here Sunday. Geological Survey of Pakistan has made preliminary geological exploration on various gemstone occurrences in the country. Gemstones discovered are in production by the local people, sources added. Official said government is also giving trainings to locals of gem bearing areas, including Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, in gemology and gemstone mining on scientific lines. “Pakistan Gems & Jewellery Development Company, a subsidiary of Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation, Ministry of Industries & Production is working exclusively to enhance productivity of entire value- chain from mine to market through facilitation, technology up-gradation, skill development, and marketing & branding”.

By virtue of favourable geological environment, he said Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan, Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) and Azad Jammu & Kashmir (A.J.&K.) are the potential gem-bearing regions. He said Ruby Sapphire,Topaz,Tourmaline,Spinel,Aquamarine,Peridot Epidote,Garnets and Beryl is found in abundant quantity in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and FATA.