Economy of Balochistan, Pakistan

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The economy of Balochistan, one of the four provinces of Pakistan, is largely based upon the production of natural gas, coal and minerals. Agriculture and livestock also dominate the Baloch economy. Horticultural development is a fairly recent, yet growing phenomenon. Other important economic sectors include fisheries, mining, manufacturing industries, trade and other services being rendered by public and private sector organizations in the province.

Outside Quetta, the infrastructure of the province is gradually developing but still lags far behind other parts of the country. Tourism remains limited but has increased due to the exotic appeal of the province. Limited farming in the east as well as fishing along the southern Arabian Sea coastline are other forms of income and sustenance for the local populations. Due to the tribal lifestyle of many Baloch and Brahui people, animal husbandry is important, as are trading bazaars found throughout the province.

Though the province remains largely underdeveloped, there are currently several major development projects in progress in Balochistan, including the construction of a new deep sea port at the strategically important town of Gwadar.[1] The port is projected to be the hub of an energy and trade corridor to and from China and the Central Asian republics.

Further west is the Mirani Dam[2] multipurpose project, on the Dasht River, 50 kilometres (31 mi) west of Turbat in the Makran Division. It will provide dependable irrigation supplies for the development of agriculture and add more than 35,000 km² of arable land. There is also Chinese involvement in the nearby Saindak gold and copper mining project.

One of the world's largest copper deposits (and its matrix-associated residual gold) have been found at Reko Diq in the Chagai District of Balochistan. Reko Diq is a giant mining project in Chaghi. The main license (EL5) is held jointly by the Government of Balochistan (25%), Antofagasta Minerals (37.5%) and Barrick Gold (37.5%). The deposits at Reko Diq are hoped to be even bigger than those of Sarcheshmeh in Iran and Escondida in Chile (presently, the second and the third largest proven deposits of copper in the world).[citation needed]

BHP Billiton, the world's largest copper mining company, began the project in cooperation with the Australian firm Tethyan, entering into a joint venture with the Balochistan government. The potential annual copper production has been estimated to be 900,000 to 2.2 million tons.[citation needed] The deposits seem to be largely of porphyry rock nature.[citation needed]

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References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gawader". Pakistan Board of Investment. Archived from the original on 2006-10-02. Retrieved 2006-11-19. 
  2. ^ "Mirani Dam Project". National Engineering Services Pakistan. Retrieved 2006-11-19. 

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