Gilgit, August 15: The Gilgit – Baltistan Metals, Minerals and Gems Association (MMGA) has accused the Minerals Department of patronizing a particular non-local company.
According to a press statement, the Association has opposed the efforts by GB Minerals Department to award six (06) exploration and mining lease and licences to to a particular company.
The press release quoted Shehbaz Khan Advocate as saying that move by the Minerals Department to award the licences through the office of Chief Minister is illegal and unlawful and against the interest of Gilgit – Baltistan. He has said that the company, M/s Global Mining Company, Islamabad, which is reportedly a sister concern of Shehzad International Company, Islamabad, was given licences for minerals exploration at six site, namely;
- Ruby in Ahmadabad Hunza for an area of 1200 Acres,
- Marble in Ahmadabad Hunza for an area 1200 Acres,
- Copper in Shagari Bala Skardu for an area of 1616 Acres,
- Aquamarine in Dasu Shigar Area for an area of 318 Acres,
- Gold in Ranthak Ghnachae District for an area of 3538 Acres
- Gold in Hushe Ghanchae District.
The Association has maintained that the company failed to carry out exploration activities in the above mentioned areas in the first EL term of 2002-2005 and violated the provisions of Northern Areas Mining Concession Rules 2003 by Non-fulfillment of legal requirements.
Legally, the company was not entitled to get renewal of these Exploration Licenses, but the Mineral Department once again renewed the 06 Exploration Licenses in 2005 for the same area and very surprisingly, as per rules, and the EL area was not reduced, in violation of the laws.
The Mineral Department once again illegally renewed these Exploration Licenses for 2nd term of 2005-2008 without going through the past performance and fulfillment of legal requirements during previous concessions, with out reducing the area under rules as well.
The spokesman further clarified that illegal and unlawful patronage of above named company by the GB Mineral Department by recently recommending the above mentioned six cases for grant of Mining Leases for the areas more than that of originally applied and with out going through the legal requirement of Mining Concession Rules is no doubt a disastrous act of opening of doors for loot and plundering of mineral resources of Gilgit Baltistan for other Mineral Mafias as well.
The spokesman showed serious reservations on it as the Global Mining Company Islamabd itself is not interested to invest a single penny from its own pocket rather the Company is looking for a Joint Venture partner particularly from abroad who could make investment in the ML project.
The Spokesman has also expressed anger and concern over what they called the interference of Chief Minister for stoppage of grant and issuance allotment letters of matured 06 cases of Exploration Licenses & Mining Leases by the Chief Minister Syed Mehdi Shah. He said that the said companies had already been approved by the competent authority of the Mineral Department in favor of potential local entrepreneurs, on the basis of GBMMA’s recommendations.
The Association has termed this action as great jolt to the national interest of Gilgit Baltistan and considered it not only a conspiracy to deprive the locals from their own home land natural resources but also a shame to Peoples Government of Gilgit Baltistan who claims to safe guard rights of the local people and a party of working for local poor masses.
The Association has appealed to political leaders, civil society, press & media and all stake holders of Gilgit Baltistan to stand up against the Anti Gilgit Baltistan policy, conduct & acts of GB Government with special reference to mineral sector prevailing since 9th June 2011, when for the first time the exploration licenses were issued to a suspected foreign national owned company namely Mohsin Industries, who has been proved to be a fraud and security threat for Gilgit Balitstan beyond any doubt now, which the Association apprehended and crying since last year.