The government has stepped up drilling activities for appraisal of huge coal reserves confirmed by the Geological Survey of Pakistan (GSP) in the Badin field and its adjoining areas of southern Sindh, official sources in Petroleum and Natural Resources Division said.
“Drilling of 9 bore holes with a cumulative depth of 3,660 meters, have been completed in Pingrio, Jhudo, Tando Bagho and Nando Town, Badin. Bypass and Kingri areas in district Badin and surrounding areas, where coal seams encountered in all holes in various depths,” they told APP.
The sources said experts had collected core samples, completed their chemical analysis and geological logging of the exploratory boreholes, Besides, the experts are in process of digitalization of the borehole log data and compilation of the project report, they added.
Answering a question, the sources informed that two newly purchased multipurpose drilling rigs had been deployed at the Badin coal project site to speed up the drilling activities around the clod, adding that mud pits, foundation for rigs, ramps and mud ways had been prepared for the purpose.
They said drilling crew including engineers and other technical staff were busy for the expeditious operation. “Drilling of BMS-10 borehole in south of Pingrio has been started where so far 335 meters bore has been drilled.”
Replying to a question, the sources said the government would provide Rs 37.977 million more for evaluation of the coal reserves this year, as it had already released Rs 131.619 million in the last fiscal year for assessment of the reserves.
The coal deposits are estimated to be over one billion tones, they said and added “the coal is of good quality and high heating value.”
Besides, the sources said that there were substantial deposits of gold, copper and more than 200 million tonnes of iron ore but these could not be exploited or utilized because of lack of infrastructure and technology.
They said efforts were also being made for exploration of tertiary coal in Central Salt Range, Punjab aimed at meeting the growing domestic energy demand and develop coal fields and increasing power generation.
The sources said exploration of oil, gas, minerals and coal resources was undertaken on regular basis which contributed significant discoveries especially in oil and gas sector.
Recent geological investigations have shown that 186 billion tonnes of coal reserves exist in different parts of the country, which could be used as a primary and inexpensive source for power generation.
“More than 184 billion tonnes deposits are located in Sindh province, with Thar coal field being the largest followed by Thatta-Sonda, Lakhra and Jhimpir. The coal is lignite to lignite-A to sub bituminous B&C in character with an average heating value of 6000 BTU/lb.”
Coal is primarily classified into four major categories, or ‘ranks’ like lignite, sub-bituminous, bituminous and anthracite. One of the most valuable content of coal is its carbon content which supplies most of its heating value.
The sources informed that further investigations were being carried out to explore and evaluate coal deposits in Musakhel, Kingri and Toisar Basin, Balochistan.