Bangladesh discovers first magnetite iron mine in Dinajpur

The Geological Survey of Bangladesh (GSB) today announced that they discovered the country’s first magnetic mine or iron ore at Dinajpur’s Hakimpur upazila.

“A 400-foot thick iron layer has been discovered at a depth of 1,330 feet and the layer stretches over an area of 6-10 square kilometers,” GSB’s Deputy Director Mohammad Masum said while making the ground breaking announcement at a press conference in the north-western district.

He added, “The discovery of the iron mine is a first in Bangladesh.”

Masum said the deposit was found at Isabpur village in Hakimpur and the ore contained higher iron contents compared to most other such mines across the globe.

He said the percentage of iron in the mine was 60, while in most other mines elsewhere in the world it is below 50.

The geologist said the Hakimpur mine also appeared to be a source of copper, nickel, chromium and limestone at a depth of 1,150 feet.

Geology literatures suggest the typical grade of iron at which a magnetite-bearing banded iron formation becomes economic is roughly 25 percent.

Masum said the GSB detected the existence of mineral substances while drilling a well at Mushidpur, about 3 kilometers east of Isabpur village, in 2013, and six years later they started digging at Isabpur village on April 19.

“As we drilled 1,380-1,750 feet beneath the surface, we saw a ray of hope and [eventually] made the [initial] announcement,” he said.

GSB Director General Zillur Rahman Chowdhury was not available for comments immediately as he is on tour abroad, but officials said he and some senior officials visited the site on May 26.

The GSB started drilling the well after taking 50 decimals of land on lease for four months at Tk 45,000 from farmer Ishaque Ali of Isabpur village, 11 kilometers from the upazila headquarters.

“We started drilling the well on April 19 last and a 30-member team of experts conducted the drilling work in three shifts,” said another GSB Deputy Director M Masud Rana at the press conference.

Geologists said currently only five countries -- Brazil, the United States, Canada, Sweden and Australia -- mine the magnetite iron ore.

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