Punjab govt, Turkish Company signs agreement for iron ore reserves of Chiniot

LAHORE: The Punjab government and an international drilling company of Turkey signed an agreement for the second phase of iron ore reserves of Chiniot. Under the agreement, the Turkish drilling company will start the drilling of natural reserves in Chiniot from the next month and the job will be completed in a period of eight months.

Punjab Chief Minister Mohammad Shehbaz Sharif was the chief guest of the ceremony which held at Model Town. Dr. Arshad Mahmood Secretary Mines and Minerals, government of the Punjab and Mr. Sarp Ayken, project team leader of the Turkish drilling company signed the agreement on behalf of respective partners.

Addressing the ceremony, the Chief Minister said that the first phase of an assessment of iron ore reserves found 4, 5 years ago in Chiniot has been completed, adding that the bank accepted feasibility of the first phase is about to be completed as well. According to the assessment of the first phase, as much as 15 crore ton underground iron ore reserves are available. Meanwhile, availability of natural reserves has also been identified at other places in this area, he added. Today, the agreement for the second phase has been signed to assess these reserves.

The Chief Minister welcomed the agreement between provincial mines department and the Turkish company and said that the assessment work of these natural reserves will be completed in eight months. The second phase is important keeping in view public welfare and prosperity and the underground wealth will be utilized by the adoption of practical steps in the light of this report, he added.

The Chief Minister said the then government of 2006-7 tried to rob the natural resources of Chiniot and the US Company was given the contract of natural reserves through fraud. When our government came into power, I cancelled the fraud agreement as the then government had rewarded this contract to the favourite company for peanuts. The Supreme Court, as well as the High Court, termed the agreement as fraud and the legal battle was won by the people and the government of the Punjab, he added.

He lamented that the then rulers of the Punjab left no stone unturned to plunder and dole out the national kitty. It is hoped that work on this project would be completed speedily and it will be completed on the given schedule. I shall ensure that the people could be rewarded and they could take full benefit of this wealth as the government of Pakistan Muslim League –N has been safeguarding the national assets as a guardian. Every penny of national resources is being spent on public welfare and every sort of resources will be made available for the service of ailing humanity and welfare of the indigent strata. The difficult times will be transformed into easiness through continued efforts, he added.

The Chief Minister said that the agreement has been finalized in a very transparent manner and congratulated the Turkish Company, German experts, Provincial Ministers Ch. Sher Ali and Rana Sanaullah, Secretary Mines and other officials. On the occasion, Mines Minister Ch. Sher Ali, Secretary Environment, Secretary P&D, German experts of the Turkish drilling company and high officials were present.