Muhammad Yaqub Shah
It is already established by the earlier researchers that the Chilas complex, Pakistan is a huge mafic-ultramafic intrusive complex, with ultramafic suit of rocks composed of dunites, harzburgites, troctolites, hornblende gabbros, pyroxenites, and anorthosites. Whereas the ultramafic rocks including chrome spinel + olivine dunites, show spectacular gravity-settling layered textures and are considered to have been emplaced into the base of the main gabbro-norite magma chamber below the main Kohistan island arc. According to Purdue Research Foundation, West Lafayettee, IN, Unites States, this cumulate complex of layered mafic-ultramafic rocks is potentially a major storehouse of mineral wealth and a most promising host to Platinum, Nickel, Copper, Chromium and Vanadium ore deposits.
A very rare, Rare Earth Element and highly radio active thorium bearing mineral Chevkinite has also been reported from Tangir Valley located within this rock Complex. The physical appearance and the textural morphology of this mineral from this specific area suggest a basic pegmatitic nature of the mineralization. However detailed geological studies are urgently required as the mineral is being mined out by the locals and on the pretext of gemstones and smuggled out from Pakistan at very high price thereby directly supplementing the financial resources of the deep rooted people.
The conclusive comments of the Purdue Research Foundation on the rocks of Chilas complex are also augmented consequent to the outcome of an extensive geo- chemical exploration program conducted by the Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation, Islamabad during 1991-2002. During execution period of this project, about 3500 geochemical samples consisting of panned concentrate of 20 liters of minus 7mm bulk material were collected from a preplanned and measured catchment cell area’s trap site along with a corresponding minus 80 mesh sample from non-trap site from the entire Gilgit-Baltistan Area in Northern Pakistan. All the samples were analyzed for precious and base metals contents and subsequently standardized to 100gms weight. Quite a number of anomalous target areas for gold and base metals have thus been identified. Some random samples were however also sent to Ultra Trace Laboratory at Perth, Australia for determination of Platinum and Palladium metals along with gold and other 32 metals. Out of which 176 samples has shown anomalous results of platinum and palladium together ranging from 10 to 2317 gm/ton apart from containing gold and silver as well in different measured catchment areas. Interestingly majority of the Pt-Pd bearing anomalous target areas fall in the Chilas Mafic Ultramafic Complex zone. Complete documented data in this context can be accessed with the Executioner of this Project.
Some limited exploration work in a comparatively very small portion (Turli Valley) of the entire Chilas Complex was also conducted during 90’s by a mineral sector entrepreneur on National level, (Eastern Techniques, Pvt. Ltd. Islamabad). Their work composed of reconnaissance geological survey followed by drivage of a about 14meters long shallow exploratory adit for the purpose of collecting fresh bed rock mineralized samples. Unluckily due to very limited available financial resources, only 6 nos. of samples were sent to Australian and S. African Laboratories, who submitted their assay results according to which 4 samples out of 6 contain Cu, Au, Pt+Pd and Ni within a range of 0.28-0.38%, 280-340ppb, 971-1090ppb and 773-1747ppm respectively by further confirming the presence of various mafic-ultramafic related styles of mineralization within this huge Complex. More available details of the aforementioned exploratory work are portrayed in Fig-A, B, C, D & E as given hereafter.
Implying innovative mineral exploration techniques is therefore the only option to bring this hidden potential wealth on to the surface. Any multinational mineral sector entrepreneur would be willing to undertake a mineral exploration, subsequent development and ultimately a mining venture in Pakistan but under the umbrella of an enacted federal mineral law, subsequent provincial mining regulations and of course having a sound sovereign guarantee for the security of title, investment and life in accordance with the international norms and good mining practices.
In the aforementioned context it may not be out of place to mention here that the prevailing subversive activities and terrorism in Pakistan have almost sliced away the Country from the international community specifically from the business point of view. Therefore under this scenario, it also becomes a moral obligation on the shoulders of reputed international organizations like WB, TFBSO, USAID, and a few such others to come forward for extending technical and financial assistance to Pakistan in accordance with their mottos and slogans for the development of such viable business opportunities in this Country and specifically in this exotic region so far considered as one of hometown for the lawlessness under the umbrella of invisible people.