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PM directed to initiate process for iron ore exploration
2004 November 28

  Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on Friday reviewed a presentation on iron ore potential in the country. It was informed that the country has over 780 million tones of iron ore spread in Punjab, NWFP and Balochiston. 

The Prime Minister directed to initiate process for iron ore exploration to build more steel capacity to leverage full potential of ore. He directed to develop these reserves to make available for steel production. 

It was decided to update the feasibility study of Kalabagh Iron ore reserves which is the largest Iron ore reserve in the country and could cater to the steel production needs of steel mills. He asked the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources to come up with a comprehensive mining plan in collaboration with private Sector investors. Pakistan Steel Mills should also make use of domestic iron ore and increase its capacity of steel production.

It was also decided that Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation and Geological Survey of Pakistan to gear up their efforts for mineral exploration in the country. The sector has not been given attention in the past. The GSP and PMDC should adopt latest mining technology. The Ministry should do this job in collaboration with private sector. 

The Prime Minister directed the restructuring of GSP to make it an effective organization. It should be equipped with necessary infrastructural facilities to do the job. 

Chinese firm shows interest to invest in expansion of Pakistan Steel Mill
2004 November 24

  A six-member Chinese delegation led by Yang Mingde, Vice President of China Metallurgical Construction (Group) Corporation (MCC) called on the Federal Minister for Industries, Production and Special Initiatives, Jahangir Khan Tareen here on Tuesday and expressed their interest to invest millions of dollars in revamping and expansion Project of Pakistan Steel Mills. 

The delegation informed the Minister that MCC is a large state-owned corporation of China which has undertaken construction of a number of strategic steel production bases such as Baosteel Complex of Shanghai and Anshan Steel Works. Besides construction of new iron and steel plants, MCC has also strong capability, techniques and experiences in rehabilitating and revamping old iron and steel plants, the delegation apprised the Minister. 

The Minister while welcoming their offer said that Pakistan was pursuing a liberal industrial policy which aimed to attract investment through joint collaboration by creating an investor-friendly environment, with a focus on further opening up the economy and marketing potential for direct foreign investment. 

The Minister offered the delegation that the Chinese Company should also invest in other sectors for which Pakistan Government would provide every possible facilities and technical support to them. The Minister said that MCC should also invest in the exploration and exploitation of iron ores/minerals in Pakistan. 

He pointed out that Ministry of Industries and Production would identify six sites within a week where iron ore deposits exist but have not been exploited due to there low grading or being deep-seated in the ground. Tareen said that due to increase in the prices of steel in world market, it has now been possible to exploit these previously uneconomical ore deposits. These matters would be discussed in the forthcoming visit of the Prime Minister, Shaukat Aziz to China. 

The leader of Chinese delegation Yang Mingde appreciated the economic reforms introduced by the Pakistan during the last five years. He was of the view that Pakistan now offers great incentives and a conducive environment for making foreign investment. He paid thanks to the Minister for extending his support.

Pakistan’s steel imports overshooting all projections
2004 November 15

  Imports are overshooting all projections as a growing volume of industrial machinery and raw materials flow in.

This is evident from imports in the first four months — July-October — of the current fiscal 2005, that saw them move up 37.42 per cent compared to the like period of Fiscal 2004. Inspite of the fact that business in the first quarter each year is rather slow, import bill has soared to $5.893 billion. At this rate 2005 can end with imports totaling $17.679 billion, if not more, compared to $4.288 billion in the like period of 2004. Exports in this period rose only 12 per cent to $4.462 billion. Business, industry, bankers, and economists agree that 2005 will end with record imports, very largely exceeding the official projection of $16.7 billion up from the actual $15.48 billion in 2004, by itself, a record. 

This is good news for Pakistan’s foreign trading partners — United States, European Union, Japan, China, and India though official and unofficial channels, besides some Asian countries — especially those who export large quantities of a wide range of machinery, capital goods and industrial raw materials.

Fiscal 2004, compared to 2003, had seen import of industrial raw materials 37.7 per cent for reprocessing and manufacturing both for the global and domestic markets. Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS) reports, during this period, import of metals rose 52.54 per cent, petroleum products 50.74 per cent, machinery and capital goods 29 per cent. Among the metals, iron and steel scrap increased by 73.88 per cent, iron and steel by 54 per cent, and wrought aluminium by 14.32 per cent. Import of petroleum crude rose 38.67 per cent and petroleum products by 66.97 per cent. FBS also said, among import of capital goods, especially machinery for textile industry, rose 52 per cent, machinery for construction 31 per cent, electrical equipment 6.0 per cent, farm equipment machinery 68 per cent, and machinery for electricity generation 31 per cent.

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