LAHORE - Polish trade delegation headed by Tomasz Tomczykiewicz, Deputy Minister of Commerce/Secretary of State Poland, held talks with high ups of Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) and Finance Department about exploring iron ore, here today. Polish Ambassador in Pakistan H.E. Dr. Andrzej Ananicz was also present on this occasion. Dr. Ali Naveed Pirzada Director General Projects PBIT and Arshad Mehmood Secretary Mines represented their departments in the meeting. DG PBIT Ali Naveed Pirzada briefed the Polish delegates about the working and facilitation provided by PBIT to foreign and local investors. Secretary Mines Arshad Mehmood informed Polish delegates about coal deposits in the Salt Range, where roughly 800 mines are operational. He pointed out few shortcomings in the coal mining process which are primitive mining techniques, small entrepreneurs and low demand of lignite. Secretary Mines also apprised the participants about the bidding procedure for exploring iron ore in the region.

The Polish delegates were told that Punjab could have its own steel mill if iron ore is extracted from the Salt Ranges near Chiniot. A 200MW coal-fired power plant was also proposed to power the steel mill.  Polish delegation was requested to provide technical and financial assistance in moving ahead with coal/iron ore mining, and also invest in proposed steel mill.   The delegation was requested for coal and ore samples for testing. DG PBIT Dr. Ali Naveed Pirzada requested the Polish Ambassador to suggest companies which would test and explore the area to estimate the size of coal and iron ore deposits.