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Potential of Stone / Marble Industry of Pakistan
Pakistan contains major deposits of export quality marble, granite and onyx in wide range of colors, shades and patterns. All provinces in Pakistan have ornamental stone deposits. Balochistan has rich confirmed deposits of marble and granite in Khuzdar, Loralai, Lasbela and Chaghi districts. In NWFP, Malakand, Mardan, Hazara, Peshawar and Kohat divisions are high-potential areas where quarrying and mining is already taking place. Mohmand, Khyber, Bajaur, Orakzai, Khurram Agencies in FATA extract considerable quantities of marble. Punjab ornamental stone quarries/mines operate in Khushab and Mianwali. Nagarparkar in Province of Sindh boasts of gold colored stone which is highly priced in the global market. Some of the varieties are as under:

• Granite
• Verona
• Champagne
• Boticina
• Fancy
• King Gold
• Indus Gold
• Black & Gold
• Black Zebra
• Red Zebra
• Rosa Brona
• Burma Teak
• Trevira
• Badal
• Ziarat White
• Nowshera Pink
• Light Green Onyx
• Medium Green Onyx
• Dark & Multi Green
Onyx etc.

In most of the countries, processing is done on highly sophisticated machinery for quality production. In Pakistan very few units are using these machines while rest of the industry uses locally fabricated machinery. The primitive mining techniques existing in Pakistan do not allow extraction of standard blocks. Major factors for the decline in Pakistan’s Marble Industry are lack of quality production and inconsistent supply of raw material. The extraction in Pakistan mainly comprise boring of holes in the bedrock, filled with explosives to blast the block, resulting not only in high wastage but also in smaller sized stone, substantially reducing the price. Standard quarry wastage in the world is taken at 50% of the gross produce; however, in Pakistan this reaches upto 73%. There are thus bright prospects of setting up joint ventures in the Marble Sector of Pakistan.

Model quarries / mine projects are being set up according to the best international practices for extracting stone and employing latest technology. Marble Cities are being established in the vicinity of mines all over Pakistan,

incorporating:

• Training Centres with state-of-the-art processing technology
• Engineering Units to support the Industry in upgrading technology
• Warehousing Facility to ensure an efficient inventory of raw material
• Minimum quarrying standards at the extraction stage
• Minimum quality standards across rest of the value chain

Stone Strategy Working Group “SWOG” was formed under USAID to develop the protential of Marble & Granite Industry of Pakistan. On its recommendation, the Government abolished import duties on all quarrying and processing machinery to facilitate industry growth.

Pakistan is the 6th largest mineral extractor of marble and granite and has a place on world mining map. An Australian Company sold shares of Pakistan Marble Industry through Stock Exchange, which were heavily over-subscribed. The 4000 subscribers who acquired the script, included some of the largest institutional investors from Australia, Europe and Canada.

Italy is pioneer in introducing mining technology by extensive research and development. The businessmen of Italy and Pakistan must come together and draw benefits out of this exceptional opportunity.

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