ISLAMABAD: The government has stepped up drilling activities for appraisal of huge coal reserves confirmed by the Geological Survey of Pakistan (GSP) in the Badin field and its adjoining areas of southern Sindh, official sources in Petroleum and Natural Resources Division said.
“Drilling of 9 bore holes with a cumulative depth of 3,660 metres, have been completed in Pingrio, Jhudo, Tando Bagho and Nando Town, Badin Bypass and Kingri areas in district Badin and surrounding areas, where coal seams were encountered in all holes in various depths,” they told APP.
The sources said that experts had collected core samples, completed their chemical analysis and geological logging of the exploratory boreholes. Besides, the experts are in process of digitalisation of the borehole log data and compilation of the project report, they added.
Answering a question, the sources informed that two newly purchased multipurpose drilling rigs had been deployed at the Badin coal project site to speed up the drilling activities around the clod, adding that mud pits, foundation for rigs, ramps and mud ways had been prepared for the purpose.
They said that the drilling crew including engineers and other technical staff were busy for the expeditious operation. “Drilling of BMS-10 borehole in south of Pingrio has been started where so far a 335 metre bore has been drilled.”
Replying to a question, the sources said that the government would provide Rs 37.977 million more for evaluation of the coal reserves this year, as it had already released Rs 131.619 million in the last fiscal year for assessment of the reserves.
The coal deposits are estimated to be over one billion tonnes, they said, and added that “the coal is of good quality and high heating value.”
Besides, the sources said that there were substantial deposits of gold, copper and more than 200 million tonnes of iron ore, but these could not be exploited or utilised because of a lack of infrastructure and technology.
They said that efforts were also being made for exploration of tertiary coal in Central Salt Range, Punjab, aimed at meeting the growing domestic energy demand and develop coal fields and increase power generation.
The sources said that exploration of oil, gas, minerals and coal resources was undertaken on regular basis which contributed significant discoveries in oil and gas sector.
Recent geological investigations have shown that 186 billion tonnes of coal reserves exist in different parts of the country which could be used as a primary and inexpensive source for power generation.
“More than 184 billion tonnes deposits are located in Sindh province, with Thar coal field being the largest followed by Thatta-Sonda, Lakhra and Jhimpir. The coal is lignite to lignite-A to sub bituminous B&C in character with an average heating value of 6000 BTU/lb.”
The sources informed that further investigations were being carried out to explore and evaluate coal deposits in Musakhel, Kingri and Toisar Basin, Balochistan.