In 2014, The Minerals Development Department in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has granted 226 exploration licenses and mining leases today to private companies and investors in Malakand Division.
These permissions include nine prospective licenses and eight mining leases for granite. Sources at the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources said that the duration of prospecting and exploration licenses is spread over 2 to 5 years and 3 to 9 years respectively. Some mining companies and leaseholders are at the advanced stages of mining and processing.
Khyber Pakhtunwa has the potential of producing high quality marble/ granite, cement grade lime stone, phosphates, soapstone, nepheline syenite & other industrial minerals beside gemstone and metallic minerals its southern part has extensive potential of industrial rocks and minerals which include rock salt, gypsum, clay minerals, limestone, silica sand, iron ore and coal etc. These include classical carbonate marble mainly white and gray and other shades of marble in the province are black, pink and green; a range of granites of dark and light coloured are abundantly available mainly in shades of green, gray, black, & pink; and a massive limestone, sand stones, slate, phyllite are also amenable to processing as substitute of marble and granite. The marble resources alone amount to 3 billion tonnes. The Chitral marble block is the size of1000 million tonnes, the Shangla par (Swat) marble block is worth 200 million tonne, Buner marble belt block has geological resources of 1400 million tonne, the Swabi marble block is worth 200 million tonnes and the Nowshera pink marble block is about 100 million tonne.
Estimated resources of granite are available in billions of tonne. The potential occurrences of dark coloured granites, mostly with green shades, are more than 1000 million tonne and light coloured granite is more than 1000 million tonne.