Marble is a crystalline, compact variety of metamorphosed limestone, consisting primarily of calcile (CaCO3), dolomite (CaMg (CO3)6) or a combination of both minerals.
Granite is igneous rock of visible crystalline and formation and texture. It is composed of feldspar (Usually potash feldspar and oligoclase) and quartz with a small amount of mica (biotite and muss covite) and monor accessory minerals.
Almost 50% of the world’s marble output is consumed in the Middle East , Far East and European countries ; therefore, there is a great demand for marble in these regions.
The international marble & granite trade is marked $3.5 billion or 1.987 million tons in 2002-03 (Pakistan’s share was only 0.047 million tons i.e.2%).
India has been the main exporter of marble granite for the five years. It capture 15.2% of the world’s total export.
Italy has been the largest importer of marble and granite for the five years. It accounted for 39.4% of the total imports.
WORLD’S MAJOR EXPORTERS & IMPORTERS MAJOR EXPORTERS VALUE IN $ MILLION MAJOR IMPORTERS VALUE IN $ MILLION 11.3 92.38 81.13 83.04 JAPAN 12.5 102.85 97.60 100.11 SPAIN 19.0 155.82 112.47 100.49 CHINA 39.4 323.59 344.48 350.46 ITALY % Share 2002 2002 2001 2000 COUNTRIES 7.3 51.37 52.42 54.04 CHINA 9.1 63.42 60.98 59.21 ITALY 12.4 86.54 80.88 77.02 NORWAY 15.2 106.55 99.58 102.66 INDIA % Share 2002 2002 2001 2000 COUNTRIES
According to estimates, there are 160 million tons of marble and more than 414 million tons of granite reserves in the country.
158 million tons of marble reserves are found in NWFP.
The process of extraction of marble and granite is very out dated and obsolete. We still use explosives to blast the blocks resulting not only in a high wastage (up to 73%), but also smaller stone size.
There are 1600 units and 9 units for the processing of marble and granite, respectively.
There are only 25 to 30 units which have appropriate machinery
Majority of units operated manually, which causes high rate of wastage.
The federal govt. is inviting the investors, both local and foreign, to invest in marble & granite sector.
The Government also directed the Industrial Development Bank of Pakistan (IDBP) to setup a marble processing plant in Quetta for which the provincial Government would provide land. The SMEDA was also directed to provide guidance and cooperation to the industrialists for establishing marble & granite processing plants in the province.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan announced that an international standard Marble Training Institute would be setup in industrial Unit phase 1 , to promote skilled labor force which would ultimately contribute to the growth of this industry and promote its exports. He urged the private sector to come forward to exploit huge wealth of untapped mineral.
Last year in 2006 President of Pakistan inaugurated the “marble city” at Gaddani and assured the manufacturers that mining would be undertaken latest technology to avoid wastages. About 300 units would be setup for the marble city on some 600 acres and investments from the citizens of Pakistan from USA, JAPAN, SPAIN and UAE. He also assured other measures to help marble industry as they have failed to utilize boom in marble industry.
This sector needs to be organized on modern lines. The induction of modern technology in this sector will increase efficiency of processing units. Improving the standard can only increase the demand of Pakistani products in international market.
This sector has great potential to contribute to the national economic growth and for the generation of employment mostly in the rural areas.
This sector also needs be organized scientifically with a consistent follow-up by the ministry of industries and production to achieve the export target of $500 million.
If the sector is scientifically treated, it can generate more employment to 10000 to 50000 people.