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Mineral resources and their economic significance in national development: Bangladesh perspective

By
Afia Akhtar
Afia Akhtar
Geological Survey of Bangladesh, Segunbagicha, Dhaka, Bangladesh (e-mail: afia@agni.com)
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Published:
January 01, 2005

Abstract

Modern urbanization, industrialization, transportation and communication systems are the achievements of worldwide sustainable mineral resource development and their proper utilization in various sectors. Sustainable mineral resources have played, and are still playing, a vital role in shaping the modern civilized industrial world. This means that the sustainable socio-economic infrastructure of any country is an indication of its richness in natural resources, its technological know how, its ability to explore and exploit mineral resources, and, finally, its wisdom in utilizing those resources properly in the development activities of the nation. In development activities, countries of the developing world are generally far behind compared with countries in the developed world. This is mainly due to a lack of adequate natural resources, properly educated human resources and good socio-economic conditions. Although Bangladesh is a small country, it has a number of mineral resources such as natural gas, oil, coal, hard rock, limestone, white clay, glass sand and mineral sand. At present, natural gas is the only mineral commodity significantly contributing to the national economy. More than 90% of the country’s energy needs are met by gas, total reserves of which are 21.35 trillion cubic feet (TCF) and 12.43 TCF, respectively. Huge reserves of hard rock (granodiorite, quartzdiorite, gneiss) and coal in northwest Bangladesh will help, in the near future, to meet the growing demand for construction materials and energy for the ever-growing population. Total coal reserves are 1753 million tons (MT), the market value of which is more than US$110 billion. Hard rock reserves are 115 million tons, valued at over US$3 billion. Fully fledged extraction of these resources would help to alleviate the country’s poverty through industrialization. It is expected that coal will soon be extracted on a commercial basis, of which 70 to 80% will be used in power generation. The mineral resources so far found in Bangladesh are meagre in comparison to its high population. To meet the growing demand of the population, more mineral resources need to be discovered and developed, otherwise sustainable development cannot be achieved. However, it is difficult for developing countries like Bangladesh to carry out the necessary activities for exploration and exploitation of hidden mineral resources without foreign assistance. This is a major drawback for Bangladesh. To progress towards an endurable sustainable society, a nation such as Bangladesh must give priority to the development of its existing mineral resources, which can play a major role in helping to reshape the country’s socio-economic infrastructure.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Sustainable Minerals Operations in the Developing World

B. R. Marker
B. R. Marker
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, UK
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M. G. Petterson
M. G. Petterson
British Geological Survey, UK
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F. McEvoy
F. McEvoy
British Geological Survey, UK
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M. H. Stephenson
M. H. Stephenson
British Geological Survey, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
250
ISBN electronic:
9781862394988
Publication date:
January 01, 2005

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