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.

A barytes 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. With recent drilling in the area, inferred reserves of 40 million tonnes have been established.

BME operates two grinding mills for barytes with the total production capacity to 70, 000 - 80,000 metric tonnes barytes annually in line with the specifications of the American Petroleum Institute. In view of the increasing local and export demand, a third grinding mill is planned to be installed during 2018-19 which will increase the grinding capacity to 135,000 – 150,000 metric tonnes.

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, mainly covering Gulf Cooperation Council countries. 

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. However, the supply was discontinued due to low contents of iron (TFe) and high percentage of silica & alumina in the ore. Recently, a research project has been initiated for upgradation of Dilband Iron Ore on Lab scale. The project is expected to be completed by January 2018. 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. However, Mining activities have been held up due to litigation on Mining Lease. Exploration activities for identifying new iron ore prospects in the litigation free area have been initiated during 2017-2018. In Phase-I, 640 meters exploratory drilling was done during 2017-2018. In Phase-II, further geophysical investigations and exploratory drilling of 1500 meters are planned during 2018-2019.

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. Under the supervision of DMT (project consultant), initially 2,100 meters of exploratory diamond core drilling was carried out which highlighted the presence of lead & zinc as well as baryte in the leased area. To this end, about 1,018 drill core samples were analyzed chemically for ascertaining the ores' quality. Based on the data collected to date, DMT further recommended for approximately 10,000 meters (±10%) additional resource drilling at 27 different locations for 'Resource Evaluation’ Joint Ore Resource Committee's review. Subsequently, a contract was awarded to Interdrill Pty Limited, Australia for drilling. Drilling has been completed at all proposed locations and approximate 3,000 drill core samples will be analyzed chemically for ascertaining the ores' quality. 

Based on the evaluation, a Feasibility Report will be submitted by DMT for establishing the economic viability of the deposit. followed by tendering and installation of processing facilities and start of 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 :  950 tonnes

              Grinding: 250 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 6 months from January 2018 to June 2018