PAKISTAN MINERAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (PMDC)
Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation (PMDC) was established in July 1974
as a private limited company with authorized capital of Rs. 1000 million and
paid up capital of Rs. 10 million subscribed by the Federal Government. The
corporation is operating mineral projects for which mineral lease has been
granted by respective provincial government under Mineral Concession Rules of
respective provinces, broadly based on Pakistan Mining Concession Rules 1960,
after incorporating amendments where deemed necessary by the provinces.
PMDC, as a lessee has signed Lease Deeds with provinces for various minerals for the area specified in the Lease Deed. Lease Deed, Interalia, provides for and permits assignment of leasehold rights subject to prior consent of the lesser (Provincial Government).
Under the policy of Government of Pakistan, the role of Government is policy making within strong regulatory framework and to pull out of business ventures, keeping the commercial activity as exclusive domain of the private sector. The Council of Common Interests (CCI) approved PMDC’s privatisation in May 1997.
Following are the PMDC Coal and Salt Mines Projects:
1. Degari collieries Project
Degari collieries are located at a distance of 40 km from Quetta on the road from spezand to Sor Range – Degari Coal field. Spezand is a town located on main Quetta – Sibi High way about 20 km from Quetta. The collieries are also approachable through coal field road via Sor Range – Sinjidi. Degari area was mined initially by the local tribes. Latter on, the area was acquired by Khan of Kalat till 1942.
In the year 1960, the prospects were handed over to PIDC who started standard development work. Later on the project remained under Japanese engineers till March 1971. PMDC took over the mines in July 1974. The Degari project of PMDC Baluchistan started to run into problems from 1985-86 onward, with the declining trend in production. The accumulated loss as on 30.06.1999 was Rs. 31.416 million.
2. Lakhra Coal Mining Project
Lakhra Coal Field is located at distance of about 75 km to NW of Hyderabad and 217 km to NE of Karachi. The nearest village from Lakhra is Khanote which is about 23 km from PMDC Coal Mines. Khanote is situated on main Indus Highway and Rail Link between Hyderabad and Dadu. A metalled road joins PMDC leased area with the Indus Highway.
Lakhra coal mining project comprises two mining leases; Lease 88 of 1278.31 acres and Lease 192 of 3818.18 acres. Both leases are being operated for an annual production of about 200,000 tons.
The excavation of coal is carried out there through room and pillar method.
3. Sharigh Collieries Project:
Sharigh is located at 160 km north-east of Quetta in district Sibi on Sibi/Khost Rail Link Section. Sharigh Khost coalfield was first discovered in North / West of Indian Sub continent. After extension of Railway in this part in 1880, When North / Western Railway was extracting coal for locomotives, which was abandoned after-wards.
Sharigh collieries consisting of four leases taken over by the Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) in 1957 from Tikam Das and subsequently came under the control of PMDC on 1974.
4. Sor-Range Collieries Project:
Sor-Range Collieries are located at a distance of 28 km from Quetta on the road connecting coal fields of Sor Range, Sinjidi and Degari. The road after passing through these coal fields joins Quetta – Sibi Highway at Spezard. The Sor Range project came into production in 1964. Based on recent production data, the production capacity of this coal mine project is around 220 MT per day.
Before partition the mines were operated by Hindus and subsequently the area was allotted to PMDC/WPIDC. On establishment of Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation in July 1974, these mines were taken over by PMDC like other such projects of PIDC.
During PIDC/WPIDC period, mines were developed on scientific lines through German experts by introducing drilling blasting, use of compressed air and use of locomotives for coal/rock transportation. A central tunnel was developed to tap coal seam. Mining of coal seam above and below tunnel level was done by operating electric haulages hauling track mounted skips. The Coal seam contains explosive gas and brisk ventilation is employed.
5. Khewra Salt Mines Project:
Khewra Salt Mines Project is located about 5 kilometers North of Pind Dadan Khan District Jehlum on the right bank of Jhelum River. These mines are accessible both from Lahore - Islamabad Motorway via Lilla and Kalar Kahar Interchange. The approach road from Islamabad to Khewra Salt Mines is 152 kilometer on the south side and 13 kilometer from Choa Saidan Shah in the north side.
Khewra Salt Mines Project is based on three independent salt mining units Khewra, Khura and Makrach. There are 19 levels in Khewra mines; seven are above the main level (ground level) and eleven are below the ground level. So far 73 chambers of varying sizes have been worked at khura mines. Working in main mine is through registered miners having hereditary working rights. Working in other areas of mine namely Sohal, Makrach, Khura, Tramway and in tunnels is through contractors which are 11 in total.
Khewra Salt Mines are the oldest in the salt mining history of the sub-continent. Salt occurs in the form of an irregular dome like structure. There are seven thick salt beds with cumulative thickness of about 150 meters. At places rock salt is 99% pure. Salt is transparent, white, pink, reddish to beef-colour red. In certain horizons it is crystalline. Inside the mine there are beautiful alternate bands of red and white colour salt. There are 18 working levels. Cumulative length of all drivages is more than 40 km.
Khewra Salt Mines Tourist Resort About 250,000 to 300,000 visitors comprising of college students, general public, and foreigners visit Salt Mines Khewra every year. In February 2002 PMDC management launched “Khewra Salt Mines Resort Development Project” with an estimated cost of Rs. 4.2 million for up gradation of tourist attractions. Khewra Salt Mines Tourist Resort has been developed by PMDC with its own resources.
Khewra Salt Mine Asthma Resort An allergological asthma resort has been built for treatment of asthma patients at the famous Khewra salt mines. The asthma resort was set up at a cost of Rs10 million as a pilot project. At present the resort has a capacity to accommodate 20 patients but in future it would be expanded to accommodate 100 patients.
PMDC Khewra Welfare Projects
Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation (Pvt) Ltd. has following three Welfare projects in addition to salt mines Khewra.
• Survey Institute, Khewra
• Model High School, Khewra
• Women College, Khewra
Survey Institute Khewra (A Welfare Project of PMDC (Pvt) Ltd.) was established in the year 1971. The principle activities of the institute are to provide technical education of mining and other survey.
Model High School Khewra (A Welfare Project of PMDC (Pvt) Ltd.) was established in the year 1960. The principle activities of the college are to provide secondary school education.
Women College Khewra (A Welfare Project of PMDC (Pvt) Ltd.) was established in the year 2002. The principle activities of the college are to provide higher secondary education.
6. Warcha Salt Mines Project:
Warcha is located north East of Quaidabad and falls in Khushab District. It is connected with the country through Railway Line and Road via Quaidabad. The Distance of Warcha from Quaidabad through metalled road is 17.7 km and 13.6 km on railway line. Rails and road distance between Warcha and Lahore are 391 km and 288 km respectively. Warcha (Rukhla) lays at Latitude 32 Deg 26’ 27” and longitude 71 Deg 57’ 07”. Warcha appears at main southern bulge of central Salt Range.
Warcha was introduced during the British period to certain number of persons/families which is an impediment in modern times against management plans to concentrate salt production from few working points and cut costs. Earlier efforts to dislodge this system did not fully succeed due to the political support that these miners can muster.
The mining activities at Warcha are in operation since 1872. These mines were initially under the administrative control of Central Excise and Custom Department. Later on these mines were managed by WPIDC (West Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation) from 01 07.1962 to 30.06.1974. On bifurcation of WPIDC the Warcha Salt Mines Project was handed over to PMDC on 01.07.1974.
PMDC has given a number of salt excavation contracts to contractors for a period of 1-5 years. In some cases the machinery already installed by PMDC has also been handed over to the contractor for use on rent. The contracts generally contain provisions for termination by the contractor but none form PMDC side. However, it is invariably stated in the contracts that in case of privatization the contractor will have no objection on privatization and will continue to work with the new buyer either on same terms or mutually agreed new terms. It is also said that the decision of the Privatization Commission with respect to any compensation payable to the contractor will be final and acceptable to the contractor.
7. Kalabagh Salt Mines Project:
Kalabagh is located at a road distance of 296km South West of Islamabad. The drive time from Islamabad is about 4 to 5 hours via motorway exit at Balkasar-Talagang-Mianwali. Kalabagh salt mines are located on the right and left banks of River Indus, north of Kalabagh Town.
Rock Salt form Kalabagh project is extracted from 3 major sections as under:
1. Main mine located behind the Kalabagh near village Wanda
Kukranwala and bank of River Indus.
2. Drift Nos. 12, 13 and 14 located in Kalabagh Town at Zero Point.
3. Mari Mines located near old Mari village Tehsil and
From mining and qualitative point of view, Mari area is less significant because of its disturbance and impure salt seams and comparatively higher sulphate contents. At present mining activities, are mostly confined to Main mine and drifts 12, 13 and 14.
The transportation of salt is through mules form deep chambers in the main mine up to the lowest level and then through haulage. In other sections, it is exclusively through mules.
Operation detail is as under:
• Main Mine, There are 28 chambers in working conditions.
• Drift No, 12/13 and 14. There are 28 chambers in working conditions.
Ventilation tunnel form drift no 14 to drift no 13 is operative
• Mines/ Tunnel There are several quarries on surface and one tunnel
in working condition
8. Jatta/Bahadurkhel/Karak Salt Quarries Project:
There are three sites in Jatta Bahadurkhel project. These sites are located at a distance of 35 to 40 km from each other. Basic details about the project are as under:
A - Bahadurkhel Salt Mines
Bahadurkhel Salt Quarries are situated about 80 K.M. from Kohat, 48 Km from Bannu, 32 Km from Karak district and 156 K.M south of capital of NWFP .It lies on topographic sheet No.38-0/4.
The British took the Kohat .quarries in the year 1849. Before the British rulers, these quarries were held by, local Chieftains who were paying a nominal payment to the Sikh rulers. The British government selected 13 Maliks from Charpara, Bahadurkhel and Oarish Khel villages for excavation of salt. Bahadurkhel Salt Quarries are the biggest quarries of NWFP. Maliks of these villages arranged Miners for excavation of rock. Salt from these quarries and British Government, paid an. extra amount after excavation of 100 Mounds salt (Selman if The British Govt. fixed salmani for the Maliks in 1942.
It is further stated that when anyone among the Maliks or Salmani Holder dies their legal hairs occupy the salmani charges. Moreover the Maliks and Salmani holder directly receive the excavation charges and salmani rights from the Rock Salt Agent.
The cost of PMDC rock salt of Bahadurkhel per ton is as under: -
PMDC Share per Ton Rs. 106
Maliks Share per Ton Rs. 70
Total Rs. 176
There are 11 quarries and 5 Mines at Bahadurkhel section.
B - Jatta Salt Mines
Jatta salt quarries are situated 100 KM south on the Indus Highway from Peshawar, 32 Km from Kohat city and 32 Km from Karak city. The area lies on Topographic sheet No. 38-K14.
These quarries were started in the year 1650. In the past 52 Dharangwals were working as excavator. Presently no Dharangwal is working at Jatta and Ismail Quarries have been closed due to lack of funds and no development work. The Dharangwals have left the work of excavation due to reduction of salt prices and there is no charm for them to develop the Mines/quarries from their own: expenses. Price of Salt is Rs.176/- per ton from which PMDC receives Rs. 56/- & Dharangwal Rs 120/-
The local "Dharangwals" who have the mining rights since British regime, are involved in mining at .Jatta and Bahadurkhel only. The project management provides necessary mining supervision in accordance with mine safety provision, logistic support including explosives to the Drangwals and marketing of the salt. The Dharangwals are associated under an agreement for specified period and they are paid a ratio of sale price of salt.
C - Karak Salt Mines
Karak Salt Quarries are located 138 K.M south on the Indus Highway from Peshawar and 5 Km away from the Karak city. There are three underground mines, one main mine is presently running departmentally and other two through excavation contractors. The sale price of Karak salt is Rs, 115 per ton and Rs.30/- per ton is paid to the salt cutter & PMDC receives its share at Rs. 85/- ton.