Pakistan has huge reserves of different variety of world class marble and granite. The absence of scientific quarrying practices, lack of technology, trained manpower and proper equipment however, has resulted in huge losses in form of wastages and poor quality. The age old practice of blasting is the major reason for such low and in-efficient yield. It is preventing the economy from a rich harvest of these valuable natural resource and adds to environmental degradation.
Currently, the average loss at the quarry is estimated at 75% compared to a maximum of 45% as per international standards. The wastage is further supplemented when these irregular shaped blocks are used downstream for producing finished goods. There is no practice of scientific prospecting and geological studies at quarry sites which is another impediment in fully exploiting the true potential of the quarries. Blasting often produces cracked and asymmetrical boulders. Limited choice of useful stone subsequently results in poor yield, less margins and weak competitive position in the export markets. The shock of blasting also has a collateral affect on surrounding unexplored reserves which already lose their worth even prior to being explored.
There is a wide gap between conventional practices of quarrying and modern methods. Modern technology produces dimensional stones with maximum wastage of 45%. The local investor lacks both awareness and capital to adopt these new methods. The new scientific approach not only requires modern machines but a sound infrastructure and trained manpower to run these specialized machines.
The potential of the marble and granite sector of Pakistan has recently attracted tremendous attention both from the government and the stake holders alike. The government is fully committed to upgrade this sector at a fast track to be at par with international level and has set aside considerable allocations for this purpose.
To channelize industrialization and encourage investment in the sector, Marble City Risalpur (MCR) was planned. MCR is located at Risalpur, which is around one and a half hour travel from Islamabad and 30 min from Peshawar. MCR is developed on a total area of 185 acres. There are total 218 plots of 2, 4 and 8 kanals. Major development works have been completed and possession to 56 plot holders have been awarded, 20 units are under construction and 15 units have also started production. More units are expected to start production in the near future.
Primary Facilities at Marble City
The Marble City Project has tremendous investment and growth opportunities for the entrepreneurs through following primary facilities available at the estates. Marble cities will be equipped with:
- State of the art infrastructure
- Reliable utilities supply
- Storm water drainage system
- Warehouse for storage and stocking
- Availability of skilled and professional workforce from adjoining areas
- Common Facility and Training institutes
- Machinery fabrication/ workshop availability
- Services including Mosque, Weigh Bridge and Customer Services etc.
- Security of title & investment
- Water recycling unit and slurry Management for the treatment of waste from industries.