Pakistan Needs Chinese Quarrying Techniques to Prepare Export Quality Stones. Pakistan has great potential to improve its marble and granite industry with the transformation of cutting-edge stone industry by adopting Chinese quarrying techniques.
This was stated by S.M. Naveed President Pak-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry during a meeting with Chairman Pakistan-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry China Chapter Wang Zihai.
S.M. Naveed said that export quantum of marble and granite can be increased many folds by establishing marble industrial parks in collaboration and technical assistance from China under CPEC to effectively utilize the valuable marble reserves of the country.
He said Industrial Parks will bring the cost-effective cutting, blasting and finishing technology in Pakistan that will enhance the competitive edge of the stone industry. He said that all provinces in Pakistan had huge deposits of ornamental stones. Baluchistan has rich confirmed deposits of marble and granite in Khuzdar, Loralai, Lasbela and Chaghi districts, whereas, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Malakand, Mardan, Hazara, Peshawar, and Kohat are the high-potential areas where quarrying and mining are already taking place, he added.
Highlighting the major factors hampering the growth of marble industry in the country, he said the lack of quality production, the inconsistent supply of raw material and scarcity of the modern technology are the real problems , which needed government attention. He suggested strengthening Pakistan Stone Development Company (PASDEC) to fill in the missing chains in marble industry. He said the extraction of stone in Pakistan mainly comprises 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.
S.M. Naveed said that standard quarry wastage in the world is taken at 50% of the gross produce; however, in Pakistan, this reaches up to 73%. He said wastage can be avoided by using latest wire-cutting technique and equipment.
Highlighting about the policies and exemptions given by the Pakistani government to investors, S.M. Naveed said that Pakistan had abolished import duties on all quarrying and processing machinery to facilitate foreign investment, which is very encouraging and the local business community should upgrade their units by availing of this facility.
He said, the global market for marble and granite was estimated at around US dollars 62 billion, but Pakistan’s share was below one percent, which is a cause of concern for the policymakers. He said with the support of government, marble industry has the potential to become the backbone of the economy and promote more exports than the share of textile products and urged the government to address marble industry issues on priority.
Wang Zihai pledged to share this valuable information with the relevant counterparts in China. He said that he will discuss the proposal for transferring Marble Extraction technology from China to Pakistan that will be beneficial for both countries.
Both Wang and S.M. Naveed agreed on multiple proposals for promoting model quarries/mining projects in line with the best international practices and the latest technology. They urged the government to establish model marble cities all over Pakistan, incorporating the training and research centers with state-of-the-art processing technology, engineering units, and warehousing facility through PASDEC.
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