DHAKA, June 3: Geological Survey of Bangladesh (GSB) today announced it discovered huge extractable reserve of limestone in Joypurhat area as the state-run organization carried out test drilling in the region as part of its exploration campaign.
"We found the reserve of Sylhet Limestone (a type of limestone) at Joypurhat while we were carrying out test drilling 1,498 feet beneath the surface . . . the reserve appeared to be huge," GSB director general Moonira Akhter Chowdhury told BSS.
She said the area of the basin where the limestone, the main ingredient of cement, was found was 96 square kilometre and the initial studies suggested the thickness of the reserve could be as high as 100 feet.
"The drilling is underway and until now we could drill only 18 feet of the deposit. We expect we could give you a clearer picture about the reserve in next one month," Chowdhury said.
The GSB chief said the limestone find was significant also because the coal was generally found beneath the limestone deposit.
GSB officials said the 6,12,371 tonnes of limestone were extracted from a nearby basin in the region during 1972-93 while the country already exhausted all the limestone reserves.
Geologists say 80 percent of the ingredients of cement is limestone while it has numerous other uses as a building material, as aggregate for the base of roads, as white pigment or filler in products such as toothpaste or paints and as a chemical feedstock.
"The limestone is important for Bangladesh's growing construction industry as currently the mineral is imported from other countries for the cement and construction industry," a GSB official said.
Team chief of the exploration activities GSB assistant director Mohammad Masum said the geophysical survey in the area was carried out in January this year when the limestone reserve was detected, while the test drilling was launched in April.
"We are carrying out the entire exploration activities with our own manpower and equipment . . . the achievement will be much higher if we find the coal at the lower layer below the limestone deposit," he said.
GSB, which is mandated to carryout the exploration of mineral resources, earlier discovered four coal reserves along with other
mineral deposits while it won the Independence Day Award in 1994
for its distinguished works in mineral exploration, discoveries and research.
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