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Marble deposits from Nauseri-Jhugian area of Muzaffarabad Region, Neelum valley, Azad Kashmir (Pakistan).

Byline: Zafar Mahmood and M. Sadiq Malkani


Marble deposits have been found in the Nauseriand Jhugian areas ofLower Neelum valley, Muzaffarabad District, Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. These Marble deposits are product of metamorphism in the dolomitic limestones of Paleozoic-Mesozoic Abbottabad-Kingriali- Samanasuk-Panjal formations. By tectonic setting these marbles are sandwiched between Main Boundary Thrust and Khairabad-Panjal Thrust. Marble deposits are found on the Eastern limb of Hazara-Kashmir syntaxis. The Nauseri marble area is located on Muzaffarabad-Neelummetalled road about 25 km east north east ofMuzaffarabad city, while Jhugian Naka area is on the top of slender ridge trending towards Mahandri, Kaghan area (plunge ofHazara Kashmir syntaxis). These deposits are accessible from Muzafarabad, while Muzaffarabad is well connected with Islamabad and Abbottabad. On reconnaissance visit to see the generalized extension, these deposits are pinching towards Mahandri, Kaghan valley and also pinching towards Lamnian, Reshian valley.

The marble is white, faint little blue tinge, translucent, pearly,massiveand recrystallised.Two horizons of marble deposits are found in the Nauseri-Jhugian area of Muzaffarabad. The upper horizon is relatively thin while the lower horizon is relatively thick and workable/mineable. The lower horizon is thicker and being mined on the top ofNauseri-Jhugian area and being transported from top to base camp by motor driven rope and shovel systems. From base camp it is being transported further in the trucks to the market. The chemical results show Si02 10.34%,Al203 0.34%, Fe203 0.17%, CaO 32.54%, MgO 21.21%,Al203 0.34%, Ti02 0.027%, P205 0.001%, Loss on ignition 35%, Na2O and K20 are below detection limit. The chemical as well as petrographic study shows dolomitic limestone metamorphosed as marble which constitute the mineral composition as calcite 60%, dolomite 30%, Feldspar 8% and quartz 2%.

This white marble gives high reflectance and has great significance as good quality. Due to small deposits ofsuch high reflectance and good quality marbles in the country is in high demand in Pakistan and also abroad like Saudi Arabia and Arab Emirates, etc. The present findings are highly valuable in mineral wealth ofAzad Kashmir and consequently for Pakistan. Its development alongwith other mineral commodities of Azad Kashmir is an innovation for the sustainable development of Azad Kashmir. Considering 2 kilometer length and about 10 meter thickness and lkilometer easily mineable depth, the total easily mineable reserves are 56 million tons. Both horizons of marble are enveloped by igneous intrusions and volcanics ofPanjal Group. This magma/lava is responsible for the metamorphism and birth ofhigh quality with good reflectance marble in this area.

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Publication:Journal of Himalayan Earth Sciences
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Dec 31, 2016
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