From 1960 to 1973 I was a geology teacher and researcher, believing in the wisdom of ministries to turn our mineral discoveries into national wealth.
Working in operating mines in Zambia, from 1973 to 1998, it was an eye opener to see seven to eight hundred thousand tonne copper being produced annually. In dollar terms it amounted to 95% of the forex earnings of the entire country. Scales further fell from my eyes when I worked in Canada from 1999 to 2005 and saw 40% of GNP of Ontario coming from mineral production. Returning to work in Pakistan in 2006 it was a shock to see that contribution of minerals to GNP had remained static at about 1% in 60 years! It must be admitted that the Oil&Gas sector of Pakistan is a success story but mining sector is a chronic underperformer. I then realized that I just had to investigate this charade being perpetrated under the noses of multi layered state institutions of “mineral development” that have proved nothing more than white elephants, as far as mineral production is concerned. In the last decade I worked for private business (local and foreign), Federal Government, Armed Forces and some Governments of the Federating Units of Pakistan. All this inside experience has prepared my mind to potential alternatives that can steadily increase the contribution of minerals to the prosperity of the people of Pakistan.
While I cannot reveal my entire battle plan, I can at least reveal some of the underlying philosophy and strategy. So please stand by for a series of blogs on the above theme. Happy reading and I look forward to your feedback relevant to each thread.
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