ISLAMABAD (APP) - Sustained efforts of the government resulted in discovery of about 174 billion tons Coal reserves in Thar deserts in Sindh, having potential to fulfill the energy requirement of the country for hundred years. To facilitate the investors in Thar Coal field more than Rs. two billion have been spent on the discovery, evaluation of coal and development of infrastructure, official sources told APP on Wednesday. Government attaches high priority towards development and exploration of indigenous minerals to mitigate import as well as enhance the share of mineral sector in the national exchequer. National Mineral Policy 1995 formulated by the previous PPP Government enhance international competitiveness of the country because of the attractive regulatory and fiscal regimes. As result of the 1995 policy the mineral sector secured direct foreign investment of US $ 8000 million and augmented revenue receipts from the mineral sector manifold. Meanwhile, Geological Survey of Pakistan has launched a project to explore and confirm more coal deposits in Kohlu-Chamalang areas of Balochistan. In order to remove deleterious material from indigenous coal to make it suitable for utilisation in processing industries Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has facilitated private sector to import coal washing plants. Sources told Saindak Project Balochistan being operated by Chinese company M/s MCC, has started production of 16000 tons Copper, Gold and Silver per year since 2003. A joint venture of two foreign companies is preparing a feasibility study on mining and processing of Reko Diq deposits in Balochistan to produce 72000 tons Copper concentrate in the initial stage by investing US $ one billion. Federal Government and the provincial government of Balochistan are providing all required assistance to the company in this regard. It was learnt that the country had Iron resources of more that 600 million tons, however, owing to its low grade it could not be utilised in Pakistan Steel, which was importing iron ore by spending huge foreign exchange. The government has attached high priority to utilise indigenous iron resources, sources said. Pakistan Steel has been facilitated to acquire three leases of iron deposits in Balochistan while efforts are afoot to develop a mechanism for up gradation of indigenous iron resources to make it acceptable for utilisation. In this connection, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has conducted a feasibility study on upgradation of Chichali Iron Ore through a Chinese Consultant, M/s MCC.