ISLAMABAD-The Geological Survey of Pakistan (GSP) would map as many as 50 Toposheets of ‘outcrop area’ to identify minerals’ potential in Balochistan province, for which the federal government has allocated Rs20 million in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP 2020-21).

“Under the project, 50 geological mappings of Toposheets of Outcrop Area, out of 354 unmapped Toposheets of Balochistan, will be carried out. The geological maps provide a bird’s eye view of the surface and (subsurface) distribution of various types of rocks and economic minerals that are found in a particular region,” according to an official document available with APP. Through the mapping, the GSP wanted to maintain a database for future exploration of the occurrences of metallic and non-metallic minerals potential, dimension stones, aggregates and limestone reserves for the industry at a total cost of Rs127.595 million during a three-year period. “These maps are essential for all future detailed geological works including, minerals’ exploration, civil engineering, soil surveys, land use, town planning, groundwater, earthquake hazards; environmental geology and soil conservation projects,” the GSP said in the project detail. Worldwide experience suggests that geological maps of 1:50,000 scale provide the most useful information and meet the basic requirements of the majority of the demands, involving research in ‘stratigraphy’, structure & tectonics, sample collection for laboratory studies, mineral evaluation and identification of promising areas for further exploration of natural resources.

According to the document, the total outcrop area of Balochistan is 335,360 Square Kilometers (524 Toposheets) out of which 108,800 Sq Km. (170 Toposheets) have been mapped and published on 1:50,000 scale and the maps are available. The promising mineral potential outcrop area would be mapped under this project, following which its gained experience would be used in mapping the rest of the outcrop area. “This project will help map the outcrop area in detail on 1:50,000 scale and maintain a database for future exploration of the occurrences of metallic and non-metallic mineral potential, dimension stones, aggregates and limestone reserves for the industry in targeted potential areas of Balochistan,” the GSP said in the document.

For the current fiscal year, the GSP has set the target to fill the posts for the project, collect and review of technical data, perform geological mapping of 16 Toposheets, measure 32 ‘stratigraphic’ sections, collect field rock samples, do chemical analysis and petrographic studies besides the digitization of geological maps. The information collected after geological mapping and laboratory testing of rock samples would generate a database for interpretation to lead the individual occurrences of mineral reserves and other natural resources. The studies would provide a platform for the exploration of mineral resources by using other geoscientific investigations like geophysical survey and geochemical studies followed by drilling operations and contribute considerably towards the development of the mineral industry and mining sector.