Bolan Mining Enterprises

Bolan Mining Enterprises (BME) is a joint venture between the Government of Balochistan (GoB) and Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), each sharing a 50 percent working interest. BME was formed through a joint venture agreement signed on June 1, 1974 between the two for 30 years to mine, grind and market baryte deposits in Gunga near Khuzdar and other minerals in Balochistan. PPL was designated as operator under this agreement which was renewed in June 2004 for another three decades.

BME operates two grinding mills for barytes with the total production capacity to 150, 000 tonnes barytes annually in line with the specifications of the American Petroleum Institute.

A mining lease spanning 316 acres for exploration of barytes in Gunga near Khuzdar, originally hosting proven reserves of 1.28 million tonnes, was granted to BME by GoB in 1974. The lease is valid up to 2033. Due to recent drilling in the area, inferred reserves of 40 million tonnes have been established.

Over the years, BME has met nearly 90 percent of the barytes requirement of the oil and gas exploration industry in Pakistan. Besides PPL, the major customers of barytes are Oil and Gas Development Company Limited, Pakistan Oil Fields Limited, Mari Petroleum Company Limited, Scomi Oil tools (formerly known as KMC Oil tools), M-I SWACO (Pakistan) and Baker Hughes Incorporated. More recently, BME has started exporting barytes powder and lumps/ ore to the international market, including the USA, Europe, Middle East and Asia pacific.

In 2002, GoB also granted a mining lease over an area of 13,660 acres in Dilband for iron ore exploration to BME. Fine iron ore from Dilband was supplied to Pakistan Steel Mills during 2003 and 2004 under a sale/purchase agreement. But supply was discontinued when the purchase agreement was not renewed 
due to low contents of iron (TFe) and high percentage of silica & alumina in the ore. A research project has been initiated for upgradation of Dilband Iron Ore on Lab scale. The project is expected to be completed by December 2017. Besides, alternate usage of Dilband ore is also being explored. 

BME also holds two mining licenses, valid until 2026, in the northwest of Nokkundi for mining of iron ore. Considering the demand for commercial sales of iron ore products from Nokkundi, a bankable feasibility report is being prepared which includes various studies that were undertaken to set up a beneficiation plant. Beneficiation studies, on laboratory and pilot plant scale, concluded in April 2006, established that concentrate of acceptable quality could be produced from Nokkundi ore. This was followed by an engineering study in 2008 for setting up a beneficiation plant with processing capacity of 0.5 million tonnes run-of-mine (ROM) ore annually. Later, the study was revised and updated for annual processing of 1 million tonnes instead. Currently, mine planning, designing and detailed engineering studies are underway for mining of iron ore on scientific basis to optimize production from Nokkundi reserves. The project is expected to start commercial production by 2018 -2019.

Moreover, exploration activities for discovery of new iron ore deposits in the prospective zones are initiated. BME plans to carry out exploratory drilling in Nokkundi leased areas based on the initial findings of geophysical investigations.

An exploration license for lead and zinc, covering an area of 93,507.63acres, west of Khuzdar was granted to BME in March 2008. A contract was awarded to DMT consulting GmbH, Germany to prepare a bankable feasibility report for exploration of Baryte-Lead-zinc deposit. DMT Initially proposed to carry out 2,100 meters of exploratory diamond core drilling highlighted the presence of lead & zinc as well as baryte in the leased area. About 1,018 samples have been collected and analyzed chemically for ascertaining the ores' quality. Moreover metallurgical testing on laboratory scale has been completed on two bulk samples by IMN Gliwice, Poland  with positive findings.

Based on the data collected to date, the project consultant recommended carrying out approximately ±10,000 meters of asdditional 'resource drilling' at 27 different locations for 'Resource Evaluation’ for consideration by Joint Ore Resource Committee. Subsequently a contract was awarded to Interdrill Pty Ltd Australia for drilling. So far 66% drilling stands completed at 16 drill holes out of 27. In order to finalize the feasibility study, DMT also recommended excavating an Adit for the collection of bulk samples for pilot plant metallurgical testing, which is under progress. The results of on-going operations would establish the economic viability of the deposit. The project is expected to start commercial production by 2020 -2021. 

Discovery

 Barytes: 1967; Iron ore (Nokkundi): 1970; Iron ore (Dilband): 1997; Lead & Zinc west of Khuzdar: 1967

 

Inferred Reserves*

Barytes: 40 million tonnes; Iron ore (Nokkundi): 50 million tonnes; Iron ore (Dilband) : 167 million tonnes; Lead & Zinc: 80 million tonnes

PPL Working Interest

 50 percent

Daily Average Production**

 Barytes: Mining :  340 tonnes

              Grinding: 185 tonnes

*Inferred resource is the resource for which tonnage, grade and mineral content can be estimated with a low level of confidence

**Daily production figures are averaged for 11 months from July 2016 to May 2017