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Heavy Minerals Mining
In recent decades, heavy minerals, have been considered strategic metals as they are a key component in the manufacturing of modern technologies. Their economic importance has grown as a result of their use in a wide range of industries, including the manufacturing of products aimed at environmental conservation and sustainability.
Availability of Heavy Minerals in Pakistan
Analytical work on surface outcrops has indicated presence of heavy minerals in Malakand and FATA. In Pakistan, several occurrences of a peculiar rock type, namely carbonatite (e.g., burbankite, xenotime, bastnasite, carbocernaite, kukharenkoite, monazite etc.)), globally recognized to contain these metals have already been reported from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and adjoining Khyber Agency (FATA) in over a 150 km long and discontinuous belt, extending from Pak-Afghan border in the West up to Tarbela area in the East.
Uses of Heavy Minerals
Applications include use in hybrid vehicles, radar systems, rechargeable batteries, mobile phones, flat screen display panels, compact fluorescent light bulbs, electronic products, etc. Heavy minerals are used as catalysts, phosphors, and polishing compounds. These are used for air pollution control, illuminated screens on electronic devices, and the polishing of optical-quality glass. All of these products are expected to experience rising demand.
The global demand for automobiles, consumer electronics, energy-efficient lighting, and catalysts is expected to rise rapidly over the next decade. Heavy earth magnet demand is expected to increase, as is the demand for rechargeable batteries. New developments in medical technology are expected to increase the use of surgical lasers, magnetic resonance imaging, and positron emission tomography scintillation detectors.
Heavy minerals are heavily used in all of these industries, so the demand for them should remain high