Gilgit-Baltistan:GB Government Slammed for Patronizing Mineral Mafia

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Gilgit (D.Times): GB Metals, Minerals and Gems Association has slammed the GB government for patronizing and emboldening the mineral mafia in the region. The organization, through a press release, claimed that the GB Mineral Department has once again cornered and ignored the local entrepreneurs and leaned towards foreign and non-local companies while issuing and renewing the licenses.

According to detail, the Mineral Department of Gilgit-Baltistan has recommended about 6 cases to the Chief Minister of the region for approval of issuing or reissuing licensing and not of them is reported to be local.  In an adhoc meeting on Wednesday, chaired by GBMMGA chairman, Mr. Shehbaz Khan Advocate, the latestdeprive-the-locals move was strongly condemned and it was reminded that the government is abetting in the looting of local resources.

“The latest move is wilful and illegal in core. It will provide a golden chance for the Mineral mafia to plunder the local resources’’ the press release said.

The spokesman of the GBMMGA informed that  the Mineral Department of Gilgit Baltistan granted 6 Exploration Licenses in 2002 in favour of M/s Global Mining Company Islamabad, a sister concern of Shehzad International Company (Private) Limited Islamabad, for exploration of

  1. Ruby in Ahmadabad Hunza for an area of 1200 Acres,
  2. Marble in Ahmadabad Hunza for an area 1200  Acres,
  3. Copper in Shagari Bala Skardu for an area of 1616 Acres,
  4. Aquamarine in Dasu Shigar Area for an area of 318 Acres,
  5. Gold in Ranthak Ghnachae District  for an area of 3538 Acres
  6. Gold in Hushe Ghanchae District.

The spokesman categorically stated that since the grant of exploration licenses, Global Mining Company has not been succeeded in exploration activities in the above areas during the first EL term of 2002-2005. This violates the provisions of Northern Areas Mining Concessions Rules 2003— the company was failed to fulfill the 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.

As per rules, the area should have been reduced to one half of the original EL area but the area remained the same. The Mineral Department once again illegally renewed these Exploration Licenses for 2nd term of  2005-2008 without going through the past performance and the legal obligations.

The spokesman expressed serious reservations on it as the Global Mining Company Islamabad 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 spokesperson showed expressed his appointment over the conduct of political Government of Gilgit Baltistan as well — the applications of local entrepreneurs are pending since 2008.

The Association has appealed to political leaders, civil society, press and all stake holders of Gilgit Baltistan to stand up against the Anti Gilgit Baltistan policy. The Association reminded the public of the big talk of Monhsin Industries whom Mehdhi Shah presented as the economic game changer in Gilgit-Baltistan, it turned out a fraud and the company has been hited a security threat to the region— a fact the GBMMGA has been pointing out many over a year.

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