The business community has said that discovery of huge iron ore deposits in Chiniot is indeed good news but the government should keep in mind that the hard part begins now. Instead of celebrating the discoveries in such overexcited way, the government’s energies should be better used by accelerating the search for a commercially viable route for early utilization of the deposits, observed the LCCI former vice president Kashif Anwar.

He said the country was facing scarcity of resources and God bestowed us with mineral resources which could end poverty and boost economy.

He said that coal reserves in Thar should also be explored fast so that new coal-fired power houses could be built and the existing plants converted into coal-based ones. Kashif Anwar said that complicating matters is a steep drop in the international price of iron ore in global markets since 2012, when the request for proposals for the study just concluded was sent out. With iron ore prices plunging, and cost of extraction likely to be very high, the commercial viability of mining these deposits could prove to be difficult. He said that it is too soon to be rejoicing over these findings, as the road ahead is still full with too much uncertainty.

He lamented that past governments had poor track record in developing mineral resources, which is evidenced from the failure to tap Thar coals in Sindh or develop Saindak or Reko Dik mines in Balochistan.