Important Minerals Occurring in Punjab

Description of Important Minerals Occurring

 

Argillaceous Clay

Bauxite

Bentonite

Building Material

Calcite

Celestite

Chalk

China Clay

Coal

Dolomite

Fireclay

Fuller's Earth

Gypsum

Iron Ore

Laterite

Lime Stone

Rock Salt

Silica Sand

Argillaceous Clay

Argillaceous Clays pertains to rocks or sediments composed of clay minerals or having a significant amount of clay in their composition. The sediments are composed of silt or clay sized detrital particles.

Uses

The clay is mainly used as in essential composition for cement manufacturing in Punjab. In addition, it is also used in about 4000 brick kiln units established in the Punjab Province for preparation of various sized ordinary bricks to be used in construction of buildings.

Occurence

Argillaceous Clay deposits with variety of components are found in abundance in Punjab, mainly excavated from the alluvium available in the Punjab basin.

Bauxite

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Bauxite is principal commercial source of aluminium. It is also used collectively for lateritic aluminium ore. Chemically, it is hydrated alumina with chemical formula AL2O3.2H2O. Its specific gravity is 2-2.6. Luster is dull to earthy and colour varies from white to yellow, grey & red. Bauxite in nature is found in the form of two minerals i.e.

  • Gibbsite with Chemical formula Al (OH) 3
  • Boehmite with Chemical formula AlO (OH)

Uses

The mineral is used as a raw material in the synthesis of alum and extracting alumina, manufacturing of alumina/aluminium metal, aluminium compounds, refractories, furnace lining and as abrasives.

Occurrence

Some bauxite derived from basaltic rocks contains large amount of Titania. The bauxite is best developed from Nilawahn to Khura in south of Salt Range. In general the content of alumina and silica has inverse relationship from east to west. Sedimentary rocks near Ziarat & Pir Sultan Mehdi in District Khushab are embedded with workable deposits of high quality bauxite. Similar rocks succession is exposed near Saloi and village Takwan is District Chakwal. Kheri Murat Range and Kala Chitta Ranges give similar appearance where pisolitic bauxite deposits are know to occur.

Bentonite

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Bentonite is mainly composed of montmorillonite group of clay with formula (Ca, Mg) O.AI2O3. 5 SiO2. n H2 O when a is 8. It occurs as submicroscopic grains and has strong ion exchange property so that it can be replaced by Na (sodium) artificially. These clays are characterized by swelling in water.

Uses

The commercial name of bentonite is sodium Montmorillonite. It is used in different forms for various purposes such as: Silica and other mineral paints in foundries, water paints, polishes, valve-grinding pastes. Agricultural sprays, fungicides insecticides, animal dips, Barium Sulphate in opaque meal for x-rays examination, oil wells drilling muds, grouting of weak sandy foundations. Cosmetics, mud packs, sunburn paint, face creams, pharmacy, calamine, lotion colloidal iodine preparations, wet compresses mercury and zinc pastes and salves. Laundry detergent for heavily soiled goods, liquid hand cleaners, Portland cement, mortars, bituminous emulation paints, tar and bitumen road emulsions, oily pesticides pitch control in paper-making, sugar honey, water purification textiles, crayons, foundry moulding material for synthetic sand in steel, iron and non-ferrous,foundries.

Occurrence

It is presently being extracted from Siwalik rocks found near Villages of Jalalpur Sharif and Dina in District Jhelum. Workable deposits also occur in District Attock. Sandy terrain of  the Pabby Hills near village Tainpur. Tehsil Dina, District Jhelum has been reported to be the best place where economic deposits of bentonite are found. Some localities near the tomb of Sultan Shehab-ur-Din Ghauri in Tehsil Gujjar Khan are also known to have workable deposits of Bentonite. Kirthar Hills in D.G. Khan District are also bentonite bearing where extensive prospecting operation for bentonite is required for successful results.

Building Material (Building Stone Gravel and Sand)

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Building materials have been classified into the following three categories:

  • Igneous and metamorphic rocks
  • Sedimentary rocks
  • Gravels and sand

Occurrence

Building Stone

In Punjab only igneous rocks and sedimentary rocks are available which can be used as building stone. The Kirana Group of stone constitute the most northerly exposure of the Indian Shield. The Kirana hills are located 12 Km south of Sargodha town and the rocks of same composition have been extended to Shahkot (District Nankana). Sangla Hills (District Nankana) and Chiniot (District Jhang)

The formation is pre-dominantly composed of grey slate, red and grey quartzite with minor amounts of conglomerate. These metasedimentary rocks are interlayered with Andisite. Rhyolite and Tuff beds. The sequence of intruded by basic igneous rocks of dibasic composition. The basic dykes contain gold and silver in minor amounts. The rocks of kirana group can be placed in the late Pre-Cambrian age. Great members of small to large crushing plants have been installed in the area producing crush which is used in building and roads

Limestone is abundantly found in Punjab. Besides its industrial uses (cement manufacturing, lime making, soda ash manufacturing, etc) it is also being used at vast scale as building material in crushed from. Margallah crush limestone market is well know. Also limestone, in raw and crushed from, in Districts of Attock, Rawalpindi, Jhelum, Chakwal, Khushab, Mianwali, and D.G.Khan is being used as building stone

Purple sandstone, magnesian sandstone and other sedimentary rocks exposed in the Salt Range, particularly in its eastern half, are quite suitable for use as building stone. The magnesian sand tone is quarried near jutana and at Chammal. There are other places in the Salt Range where different types of rocks have been quarried for use as road blast aggregate stone, etc.

Another important site of Crush market is near Sakhi Sarwar District Dera Ghazi Khan where about 50 to 60 crushers have been installed. The material here is broken limestone embedded in clay (conglomerate). The said Crush market fulfils almost whole of the demand of the southern Punjab.

Slate stone found near Romian District Attock is also used as building material.

Gravel and Sand

Boulders and pebbles from the exposed hard rocks are broken under the action of weathering agents and are swept dawn in rivers and streams. By roiling down, their sizes are reduced and ultimately are converted into sand/silt.

Gravel from Sarwala, District Attock is famous & used in tube wells (around the filter of the tubes). Gravel mixed with sand is found generally near the foothills. The pure sand occurs in the rivers and streams in Punjab abundantly. It is also found, beneath 4-5 feet earth crust, in the old rivers courses. The Lawrancepur sand (Haro Sand) is very famous one. Both gravel and sand are used as construction material

Sand dunes (Tibba sand) is found in almost whole of Cholistan and Thal desert but this sand in not in pure from. This sand is mixed with silty/clayey material and is generally used for filling purposes in construction work or in embankment of road works.

Calcite

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Calcite is the stable form of calcium carbonate at all the temperatures and pressures at or near Earth’s surface: because of this, it is possible that all other forms may be converted to it over geological time. Calcite is a widely distributed rock-forming mineral, the chief constituent of limestone and marble and is common in the shells of invertebrate fossils.

Uses

It is used in different forms for various purposes such as manufacturing of bleaching powder, ammonia, calcium carbide, fertilizers, alcohol, soap, glycerin, glue, glass, pottery, sugar, wool, tanneries textiles, boiler and steam pipe insulation mixtures, cosmetics, especially face powders, antibiotics, etc.

Occurrence

In Punjab, deposits are found in the cracks of limestone in the form of veins. It is found in Attock, Rawalpindi, Chakwal, Jhelum, and D.G. Khan Districts. In kala Chitta Range, District Attock, calcite is found in abundance in pure form.

Celestite

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Celestite (Sr SO4) is one of the two strontium minerals used in the manufacturing of strontium salts. Its chemical composition is Strontium Sulphate. It is usually pure but may contain small amounts of calcium, barium, iron and silica.

Uses

Powdered Celestite is used as filler in white paint, as a substitute for barite, as rubber filler, and in oil drilling mud. It is also utilized in pyroelectrics, such as in tracer bullets, distress signal rockets and flares, military signal flares, transportation warming fuses, and fireworks. Other uses include ceramics, chemicals, depilatories, caustic soda refining, desulphurizing steel, dielectrics, greases, luminous paint, plastics and welding rod coatings. Strontium salts are used also in desaceharizing beet-sugar molasses, and as a purifying flux in metallurgy.

Occurrence

Celestite occurs in two principal types of deposits:

  • Disseminated as crystals or irregular grains in shale, limestone and dolomites.
  • In cracks and cavities in rocks of varying ages but principally of sedimentary origin. Most of the well know deposits of Celestite are of this type.

In Punjab, the Celestite occurs as irregular veins over a length of three to four miles to the east and northeast of Daud Khel (32, 35’ N: 71, 35’E) (Heron. 1954. P 24) the mineral occurs in irregular veins. Three to four feet thick. and as nodules upto four inches in diameter. The mineralized zone is approximately 40 feet wide. Besides a number of small pockets. Four deposits of some significance have recognized in the Daud Khel area as follows:

  • Two miles to the west of Jabba
  • One miles to the northeast of Khairabad
  • Half a mile to the northwest of Jabba
  • One to two miles to the northwest of Jabba on Khairabad Jabba trait

Chalk

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Chalk is soft, earthy, fine-grained white to grayish limestone of marine origin, composed almost entirely of biochemically derived calcite that is formed mainly by shallow-water accumulations of minute plants and animals, in particular, coccoliths and foraminifers, globigerina and textalaria. A variety of limestone formed from pelagic or floating organisms is very fine grained, porous and friable. It consists almost entirely of calcite. The rock is made up of calcite shoals of micro-organisms partially cemented by amorphous calcite. Also present are remains some sponge specula’s and radio lavia. In some chalk, remains of micro-organisms constitute more than one third of the rocks.

Uses

Chalk is used for cements, powders (as soft abrasive and polishers) crayons and fertilizers

Occurrence

Chalk deposits are mainly formed in the limestone accumulation, which can be found in Rawalpindi, Chakwal, Khushab, Mianwali, D.G. Khan and Rajanpur Districts.

China Clay

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China Clay is composed of kaolin, halloysite and other similar clay that have been processed for the manufacturing of chinaware. It is a mineral of clay family. The kaolin clays are formed as hydrothermal alteration products of feldspars, feldspathoidal rocks as residual weathering deposit and as sedimentary deposits of ice melt water. Any of these can be a commercial deposit.

Uses

It is used in paper industry, ceramics, refractory’s, rubber industry in manufacturing of both natural and synthetic rubber paint & ink, plastics and insecticides.

Occurrence

China clay is found in Punjab in Districts of Chakwal, Khushab, Mianwali, Attock and D.G. Khan.

Coal

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Coal is the general name for the naturally occurring commonly stratified rocklike brown to black derivative of forest vegetation that accumulated initially in sedimentary rocks. By burial and subsequent geological processes, coal is progressively compressed, indurated and finally altered into graphite or graphite like material.

Uses

The coal may be used for a great variety of purposes, such as general industrial purposes, including iron and steel, and chemical industries, electrical utilities, as a locomotive fuel for rail/road and for domestic purposes. It is mainly used in brick kiln industries, thermal power generation, in cooking, gas manufacturing, lime burning, and manufacturing of cement & coal briquette as well as ginning factories, etc.

Occurrence

In Punjab Province huge coal deposits are found in the Salt Range. The main coal deposits are found in Districts of Attock, Jhelum, Chakwal, Khushab and Mianwali. Thickness of coal seams, in Punjab, generally ranges from a few centimeters to 1.5 meters. The coal found in Punjab is of sub-bituminous quality.

Most coal deposits and associated carbonaceous shales are found in the Salt Range and Trans Indus Range (Surghar Range) within the Patala Formation and Hungu Formation of Paleocene age. Limited occurance is available in Tobra Formation of Permian age. Patala Formation which contains the major coal deposits in the Central and Eastern Salt Range consists of dark grey, fossilliferous shale inter bedded with white quartgose sand stone, siltstone, marl and limestone. Permian coal deposits in the Western Salt Range near Buri Khel village of District Mianwali are generally discontinuous and of poor quality. Better quality Permian coal bed may be possibly discovered in the Punjab Plain upon further exploration. The Patala Formation grades laterally toward West into Hangu Formation. The coal near Makerwal (District Mianwali) and adjoining areas in Trans Indus Range is mined from Hangu Formation. Coal seam in Makerwal area ranges in thickness from 2 feet to 10 feet. Makerwal Coal is slightly better and finally clean than that of the Salt Range and is classified as high volatile bituminous. Its calorific value varies between 9500 BTU to 11850 BTU. Coal reserves are estimated about one million ton.

Salt Range Coal fields extend from 12.5 miles north of Khushab to about 15 mile north of Khewra within an area approximately 100 square miles. Coal occurs in the Patala Formation. Coal seam ranging in thickness from few inches to a maximum of five feet is available in the whole Salt Range. The coal has been classified as high volatile bituminous with high ash and sulpher contents. Its calorific value in BTU varies from 7100 to 11100. Reserves have been estimated to be 75 million tons.

There is possible existence of coal at Budhwana in District Jhang and kamiab in District Layyah where AMOCO (American Oil Company) had carried out oil exploration work. Information collected from Federal Government revealed that coal bearing strata was encountered at 192 feet and 637 feet depth at Budhwana (Jhang) and at 296 feet at Kamiab (Layyah).

M/S Punjab Mineral Development Corporation has also done coal exploration over an area of 3319.14 acres in March, 1980. This area is trapezoidal in shape with a length of 6.5 Km (east-west) and width (North-South) ranging from one Km to 3.5 Km. This area also falls in the eastern part of the Central Salt Range and is known by the name of Munarah Plateau.

The Directorate General of Mines & Minerals interalia has established a Division of Resource Mapping. The main aim of the said Division is to work in the un-explored areas of Punjab. At present three exploration schemes are going on under the Director Resource Mapping for exploration of area to ascertain existence of various minerals. Especially coal, in these areas through geological mapping and drilling holes, etc.

Dolomite

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Dolomite, when pure, has equal parts of calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate. In nature however, calcium carbonate predominates, and dolomite has clay, sand and other impurities. Dolomite occurs in various colures ranging from nearly white to nearly black; also in various shades of brown, red and yellow.

Uses

Dolomite is used for building statuary monumental and ornamental purposes as a source of magnesia and as refractory material. It is also used as agricultural fertilizer, especially for magnesium deficient areas, in Chromate manufacturing sugar refining.

Occurrence

The main deposits include Barbara deposits of Kuch near Kalabagh in  District Mianwali. The Dolomite deposits are also found near Datta Nala (about 11 km North East of Makerwal). Doya-Lunda, Normia and Punnu (Near coal mines of Mulla Khel) and near Burikhel in District Mianwali. The thickness of the deposits ranges from 200 to 300 ft. The dolomite deposits of District Mianwali are mainly found in Kingriali Formation of Triassic age. The deposits of dolomite are found near Wagh and Nila Wahn in Districts of Chakwal & Khushab which are found in the Salt Range Formation of Pre-Cambrian age and Jutana Formation of Cambrian age. Dolomite deposits are also available in Kala Chitta Range of Kingriali Formation in District Attock.

Fireclay

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Fireclay or refractory clay is clay that can withstand high temperatures without disintegrating or turning pasty. Flint clays or nonplastic fireclays (that are extremely hard) are microcrystalline clay rocks composed predominantly of kaolin.

Uses

The main use of fireclay is in refractories. Beside this, it is used in the manufacturing of heavy products, chemicals, cements, and pottery and stone ware.

Occurrence

In Punjab important location of fireclay deposits are Chappri, Dhok Pass, Mouza Bazaar, Musakhel in District Mianwali, Chambal, Padhrar in District Khushab, Kruli, Dlawal, Minhala and Wahali in District Chakwal, Khewara, Rohtas,Punan wal and TainPura District Jhelum, Katha Saghral (District Khushab) and Kala Chitta Range (Bagh Nilab Area, Chhoi Area, Surg Area, Buta Area, Akhori Area) in District Attock.

Fuller's Earth

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It is a fine earth resembling clay, but lacking plasticity, having higher percentage of water. It is high in magnesia and possesses property of decolorizing the oils and fats by retaining colouring matter.

Uses

It is used to decolorizes petroleum products and as bleaching purposes in ghee & oil industry. Also used as catalyst for cracking of petroleum oil, as drilling mud, as absorpant in pesticides, oil grease water. The Fuller’s Earth is used for washing of body and is also used for edible purposes by women.

Occurrence

The fuller’s Earth occurs in the Eocene sequence of Suleman Range (District D.G. Khan) and is located in Domanda Formation and occasionally in Drazinda Formation. The thickness of the beds ranges from 0.25 meters to more than 5 meters.  An extensive deposit of Fuller’s Earth occurs in D.G. Khan District. The important deposits are Rodho deposits North West of Taunsa Town-approachable by Taunsa-Kot Qaisrani Rodho track. Sanghar and Saffaid Koh deposits approachable by Taunsa-Qaisrani Rodho track and through Chowkarwala Basti road. Zinda Pir depositsapproachable by Sori Nala.18-20Km West of Shadan Lund Railway Station. Dalana deposits (15 Km south west of D.G. Khan) and Rakhi Gaj deposits (located near Rakhi Gaj at 55 Km south west of D.G. Khan).

Gypsum

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The term “gypsum” has been derived from the Greek word “Gypos” meaning chalk. Gypsum is a hydrated Sulphate of calcium. Gypsum occurs as tabular or prismatic crystals: commonly in cleavable. Columnar, granular, fibrous, foliated or earth masses, its hardness is two, and specific gravity, 2.2 to 2.4. It is often mixed with clay, sand, organic matter.

Uses

Gypsum has a number of diversified uses

  • Ground rock gypsum is used to a limited extent as a fertilizer and is called land plaster
  • It is used as a disinfectant, flux in glass and porcelain manufacture,
  • Reminder in cement and to weight fertilizers
  • It is also used for statuary and decorative purposes
  • It is used in cheap jewelry and microscopes
  • Gypsum is used as an adulterant of foods, medicines and paints
  • It is used in manufacture of plaster of Paris and keen’s and pertian plasters

Occurrence

The main Gypsum deposits occur in the tribal areas of Dera Ghazi Khan District. The deposits occur in the north-south trending ridges that form the foot-hills of the Suleman Range, West of Dera Ghazi Khan. These deposits consist of 10 to 18 meter thick, interrelated with greenish clay and limestone of Eocene age. The deposits of gypsum also occur in the Salt Range in District of Jhelum, Chakwal, Khushab and Mianwali.

Iron Ore

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Although iron is found in a number of minerals including sulphides, oxides, hydroxides, carbonates and silicate, the ores of iron are restricted to hematite, magnetite and siderite.

Uses

The iron ores are used for making iron and steel alloy to iron.

Occurrence

The Kalabagh iron ore deposits are the largest known deposits in Pakistan of low-grade iron ore in District Mianwali in the Surghar Range, and near Sakesar in the Salt Range. Much work has been done on Kalabagh iron ore deposit in the past, by M/S Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation.

The deposits of iron ore occurs in the upper part of the Lumshiwal Formation of Upper Cretaceous age. The ores are very irregular in composition owing to the presence of many different iron minerals in varying amounts. Mineralogical composition the ores controls its chemical composition and metallurgical suitability. The Kalabagh iron ore can be classified into two broad types on the basis of mineralogy. These are the Kuch type (chomosite-siderite) and the Chichali type (glauconite-siderite). A transitional type of ore is also present and is represented by the ore of Chuglan and Tolamangli.

The basal part of the Chitarwala Formation contains iron ore especially in Rakhi Munh (District D.G.Khan) area in the eastern flank of the Fort Munru anticlines. The iron occurs as banded iron ore and is exposed in the foothills at 2 Km west of Rakhi Munh (39 k-l), which is located at 53 Km west of D.G. Khan.

The iron ore deposits are also located south of Chiniot Town in Jhang District. The iron ore deposits are located very close to Chiniot town where all the infrastructure facilities are available. 

Laterite

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The term laterite means Red residual soil developed in humid tropical and sub-tropical regions of goods drainage. In Pakistan the terms laterite applies to thin lithologic units in which the rocks are clayey or silty, poorly bedded to massive, stained red, brown, reddish brown, purplish red, and black, commonly have pan on exposed surfaces, and locally contains pisolites, oolites, or concretions. Besides oxides and hydroxides of iron and alumind, they may contain appreciable qualities of silica and minor titanium or other oxides.

Uses

Laterite may be used as an ore of iron. It is also used in cement manufacturing industry as flux.

Occurrence

Ferruginous pisolitic laterite crops out in isolated pockets between the limestone of Eocene age and Giumal sandstone of Cretaceous age and are found between Nicholson’s Monument (33° 42´ N: 73° 04´ E) (District Rawalpindi).These individual pockets ranges in length from 20 to 2000 feet and in thickness from 12 to 100 feet.

Ferruginous pisolitic clayey Laterite, 15 to 25 feet thick. Crops out below the limestone of Eocene age in Surge area of Attock District. The deposits of Laterites are also found near villages of Mungiwali and Gakkar in District Attock. In the same District Ferruginous shale containing irregular layers of pisolitic material, having a total thickness of 40 to 50 feet in places, is found in the upper part of the koto Formation in the Kala Chitta Range. Deposits are reported to occur near Bagh Nilab, Tanewala Magar, Ganji Bhal, Mirza, Kawah, Kheramar, Jhalar, and Hassan Abdal.

Lateritic material crops out at the base of the Eocene section in contact with pre-Eocene Formations near Daud Khel and in Zaluch gorge at about five miles to the east of Pai Khel in District Mianwali. Ferruginous lateritic rock also occurs in near I-1/2 miles to the south of Kathwai in District Khushab. At least five principal isolated outcrops and several insignificant exposures are present. The deposit differs in size; the largest is 380 feet long, 87 feet wide, and has an average thickness of 15 feet.

Limestone

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Limestone is a sedimentary rock. They generally occur in regular beds. Which can be traced for considerable distances pure limestone, which is rare in nature is calcium carbonate. Usually it has impurities like clay, sand and compounds of iron, aluminium, magnesium, silicon, phosphorous and sulphar.

Uses

Limestone is used in the manufacturing of lime. It is main ingredient of cement industry; it is also used in blocks or as aggregates in construction in chemical work and in glass industry.

Occurrence

In the Punjab Province, there are huge deposits of limestone with varying qualities especially found in Salt Range Hills, Margallah Hills and Koh-Suleman as well as in District Attock.The Sori Nala limestone deposits of the Zindapir area in Dera Ghazi Khan District occur at about 16 miles from the Taunsa Canal Bridge. These deposits are of Eocene age.

The limestone deposits are also found abundantly in District of Attock, Rawalpindi, Jhelum, Chakwal, Khushab and Mianwali. The various formations exposed in the area are Kawagarh Formation, Samana Suk Formation, Shin-Wari Formation and Langriali Formation. The limestone of Samana Suk Formation, Shin-Wari Formation and Datta Formation has been proved suitable for cement making whereas the Margallah limestone, being the hardest one, is mainly used in construction of roads and concrete work.

Rock Salt

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Rock salt is the commercial name of the naturally occurring mineral halite which has chemical composition as sodium chloride. It is one of the most important members of the evaporate series of minerals. It crystallizes in the cubic system, Crystals are generally cubes or in combination with the octahedrons; also skeletal or hopper shaped.

Uses

Salt is extensively used as essential constituent of daily food and dairying purposes, in meat and fish packing, in the manufacture of sodium and its compounds in various metallurgical processes and to glazy pottery used in treating smelting & refining of ores and metals, in manufacturing of ice cream and in cold storage, as canal food and in drugs and medicines, After meeting the internal demands, the rock salt is also being exported

Occurrence

The salt occurs near the base of an escarpment forming part of Punjab saline series. It occurs in association with gypsum, anhydrite, dolomite, and red marl. The rock salt is occurring in whole of the Salt Range. However at present it is being mined extensively at various places such as Khewra, Nurpur, Jutana, Warchha, Batmach, Chuki Wahn, Dodha Wahnm, Goliwali and Kalabagh in District of Jhelum, Chakwal, Khushab and Mianwali. The salt mining is being done by M/S Pakistan Mineral Development Corptration, M/S Punjab Mineral Development Corporation and some private parties. Besides rock salt of Salt Range, lake salt is also being recovered under the process of solar evaporation from various salt lakes in District Rahim Yar Khan and this is mainly used in tanneries and for refrigeration purposes.

Silica Sand

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The chief constitution of silica sand as the name suggests is silica (SiO2) (over 93%). Minor constituents are soda and lime. Iron and alumina are also present as impurities. The grain size ranges between 0.06 mm and 2.00 mm, (20-100 mesh).

Uses

Silica sand has been used for glass making more than 5000 years. It is also used for abrasive glass and chemicals, metallurgical and refractory purposes.

Abrasive

  • Blasting sand: (closely sized quartz sand is required). For cleaning metal castings, removing rust and paint
  • Glass grinding sand (Medium to fine grained pure silica sand required)
  • Stone sawing and rubbing sand (coarse grained well sorted pure silica sand is needed)

Glass Chemical

  • It plays an important part in glass making. The sand grains should be even sized and within the range of 20-100 mesh
  • Metallurgical use of silica is as a component in the preparation of silicon alloys and as a flux in the preparation of elemental phosphorous
  • The refractory uses of industrial silica include sand for foundry moulding purposes, as liner in steel furnaces and in the manufacture of super-duty acid refractor products

Occurrence

The main type of silica sand deposits are stream or fluvial, marine and lake, glacial and residual. Windblown deposits are of relatively minor importance. Also silica sand deposits vary greatly in composition, thickness, aerial extent and shape.

In Punjab good quality silica sand deposits occur in the western Salt Range and Trance Indus Range i.e, Surgher Range and Khisore Range in the District Mianwali Geologically the deposits are associated with the Datta Formation of Jurassic age. These deposits especially found in Surgher Range are believed to be extensive and suitable for the manufacturing of all types glass. The Silica Sand held in the Surghar Range runs from Capri village to Malla Khel in the east-west trending mountains along the soulern escarpment faces. Silica Sand deposits are found at some location from Moza Bazar to Kala Bagh (District Mianwali) in the western Salt Range. These deposits are also associated with the Datta Formation. These deposits are however of low economic value as same are less friable and contain impurities.