Mineral raw materials and deposits are essential to industry, construction, power generation and distribution, communication and agriculture. Their availability can ensure and stimulate the development of the industrial economy. To transform a mineral deposit into an asset, it has to be exploited and utilized.
MINERAL GEOGRAPHY OF PAKISTAN
After the partition of India, Pakistan inherited parts of western and the eastern flanks of the extra-peninsular mountains with their complex rock structure, deep and narrow but soil covered valleys, with powerful waterfalls and snow crested peaks, as well as part of the plains, flat wide, spacious and covered with deep soil which is considered to be one of the most fertile agricultural soil. Most of the positive relief is related to the structure of the underlying rocks, but the negative relief, like the river valleys and plains has been developed independently of these.
Main Geological Features. The geology of Pakistan, upon which the features of the state and its national planning greatly depends, is interesting from the point of view of the strait graphical sequence of the rocks and the minerals born of them. They are overturned, folded and dislocated at many places and are rich in plant and animal fossils. Regional details of mineral deposits of Pakistan are as under:-
1. Upper Indus Basin. The salt range is geologically the most important part of the upper Indus Basin. It contains a large number of geological formations, rich in certain minerals, from the oldest to the newest. The lowest layer is called "salt marl" because it contains beds or lines of rock salt. At "Khewera" the accumulation of both salt and gypsum is on a very large scale. The salt is purely crystalline, of a light pink colour and thickly bedded. Other rocks are magnesium sandstones, neobolus shales and purple sandstones. Tertiary (inferior) coal is available at "Dandot" and "Kalabagh".
2. Lower Indus Basin. The geology of the lower Indus Basin is important from the point of view of a regular series of "Tertiary Rock" formations. Although the life history of the rocks is comparatively brief, the evolution of the rocks is unique. The coastal areas, covered over with the oyster shells and other superficial deposits, extend for many miles along the coast. The "Laki Range" in "Sindh Kohistan" is a field museum of geology has an excellent stratigraphy, which contains some building stones, a few lignite deposits and clays of various kinds. Clay plays an important part in the mineral economy of this region. These were deposited in shallow seas and are closely connected with gypsum and limestone of the "Kirthar", "Laki" and "Gaj" areas.
3. North West Mountain Region. This area is largely unexplained. The "Siwalikes" and other tertiary rocks continue along the Kashmir Himalayas into this tract of Hazara District, Muzaffarabad and Muree. Some rock formations are traced in the Abottabad and Attock regions e, g. The Attock slates.
4. Baluchistan Mountain Region. Baluchistan region actually is a continuation of Iran series with typical geology and topography. The land of Paroli, the Hingoli and weird forms of rocks, that have so offered from sub-aerial denudation, and so the scenery is superb and awe-inspiring. There are many deposits and some extinct volcanoes. The Makran series, Khojak beds are found in the south and middle of the region.