Nepal lies in the central part of 2500 km long Himalayan belt. Almost 83% of Nepalese territory is mountainous. It is an underdeveloped country with vast natural resources like Water, Minerals, Forest, varieties of Agricultural products and Medical herbs. For the economic development of the country exploitation and proper use of such valuable resources, especially mineral resources, is very important. The mountainous region and the geological environment therein is suitable for metallic, nonmetallic/ industrial and fuel mineral deposits as well as a huge amount of construction materials and dimension/ decorative stones. Continues efforts are extremely necessary to find out more mineral deposits, timely exploitation of these known resources and make multiple uses of these mineral commodities for the benefit of the people. Geology of Nepal is very complex because of continues geodynamic process in the Himalayan region and that resulted in many thrusting, faulting, folding and metamorphic effects. Nepal Himalaya can be divided into five distinct morpho-geotectonic zones from south to north. From a mineral resources point of view, the southernmost Terai Plain is potential for gravel, sand, groundwater, petroleum, and natural gas. The Sub Himalaya (Churia/ Siwalik foothills) is the potential area for construction materials, radioactive minerals, petroleum, natural gas and the minor amount of coal. Similarly, Lesser Himalaya (The Mahabharat Range including Midlands) is promising for metallic minerals mainly Iron, copper, lead, zinc, cobalt, nickel, tin, tungsten, molybdenum, gold, uranium rare metals etc.; industrial minerals like magnesite, phosphorite, limestone, dolomite, talc, clay, kaoline etc.; gemstones like tourmaline, aquamarine/ beryl, garnet, kyanite, etc; fuel minerals e.g. coal, lignite, methane gas, petroleum and natural gas, hot springs and radioactive minerals; and voluminous construction materials crushed gravel as well as river boulders, gravel; sand some of the areas in Higher Himalaya are highly promising for precious and semiprecious stones, marble and metallic minerals like lead, zinc, uranium, gold etc. Tibetan Tethys zone is prospective for limestone, gypsum, brine water (salt) and natural gas. However, because of rugged topography, difficult mountain terrain, complex geology, lack of infrastructures and financial constrain exploration and exploitation of these mineral resources in Nepal is still challenging.

 Metallic Minerals

Metallic minerals are very much used for various purposes in day to day life. They are mostly extracted from their respective ores. Gold, platinum, silver, and copper also occur as native state. Numbers of metallic ore minerals are known from different parts of Nepal only the important ones are briefly described.

 Iron (Fe) is the principal metal which is used extensively in infrastructure development works, to manufacture heavy machinery equipment, arms, agricultural tools etc. Iron ores like magnetite, hematite, limonite/goethite occurrences/ prospects/ deposits are known from more than 85 localities. Some of these ores were extensively mined and smelted in different parts of Nepal since more than 150 years till 1951 (2007BS) but not a single iron mine is in operation at present. The well-known iron ore deposits are Phulchoki (Lalitpur), Those (Ramechhap), Labdi Khola (Tanahun), Jirbang (Chitwan), Dhuwakot (Parbat), Purchaundi/ Lamunigad (Bitadi), Dahabagar, Kachali, and Ekghar/ Khanigaon (Bajhang). Iron prospects and old workings are also known from different parts of Baitadi, Bajhang, Jajarkot, Rolpa, Surkhet, Myagdi, Baglung, Parbat, Chitwan, Ramechhap, Okhaldhunga, Taplejung etc. Phulchoki iron deposit still remained untransformed into commercialization due to its location in the environmentally sensitive area and a shortage of power like electricity and unavailability of good quality coal in Nepal and few other reasons. That iron deposit was mined in small-scale during Rana's time for almost 100 years. But it was totally closed after 2007BS. DMG (Kaphle & Khan 1995, 1996, 2006) did the assessment of this prospect and calculated geological reserve of about 10.5 million ton iron ore.

Copper (Cu) is another important metal which is mainly used in electrical industries to produce electrical and electronic equipment, copper wires, crafts, making alloys, utensils, and other household purposes. It was mined traditionally in Nepal since historic time but at present, there is no running copper mine. The common copper ore found in Nepal are chalcopyrite, and few malachite, azurite, covellite, cuprite, bornite, and chalcocite. Copper ore occurrences/ prospects/ deposits are known from more than 107 localities in the country. Small-scale copper mines were in operation in Gyazi (Gorkha), Okharbot (Myagdi) and Wapsa (Solukhumbu) till to the last decade and they were able 20 to 50mt finished copper per year. Other copper prospects/ deposits like Kalitar (Makwanpur), Dhusa (Dhadhing), Wapsa (Solukhumbu), Bamangaon (Dadeldhura), Khandeshori/ Marma (Darchula), Kurule (Udayapur), Bhut Khola (Tanahun), Pandav Khani (Baglung), Baise Khani (Myagdi), Chhirling Khola (Bhojpur) Jantar Khani (Okhaldhunga) are the major ones. Old workings are also known from different parts of Darchula, Bajhang, Bajura, Parbat, Baglung, Myagdi, Gulmi, Tanahun, Gorkha, Makwanpur, Kavre, Ramechhap, Okhaldunga, Dhankuta, Solukhumbu, Ilam and Taplejung districts. Among them, Siddhi Khani (Ilam), Mul Khani (Gulmi) Ningre (Myagdi) are the important ones. 42 exploration licenses for copper exploration have been issued by DMG (source DMG, FY2066/67).

Zinc (Zn) and Lead (Pb) occurrences/ prospects/ deposits are reported from more than 54 localities in different parts of Nepal. In most cases their ore minerals e.g. Sphalerite and Galena are associated like in Ganesh Himal area (Rasuwa), Phakuwa (Sankhuwasabha), Labang- Khairang (Makwanpur), Pangum (Solukhumbu), Salimar valley (Mugu/ Humla), Daha Gulzar (Darchula),  Phulchoki (Lalitpur), Sisha Khani and Kandebas (Baglung), Dhuwakot (Parbat), Barghare (Makwanpur), Khola Khani (Taplejung) etc. Most of them are known as old workings. Among them, only Ganesh Himal Zinc-Lead deposit (Lari and Supple) has been proved as an economic deposit and mine development work has been completed by Nepal Metal Company since long time before but there is no production as yet.

Cobalt (Co) prospects are not as common as iron, copper, lead, and zinc in Nepal. Cobaltite, erythrite, and absolute are the common ore of Cobalt. Few old workings for cobalt are known from Netadarling & Tamghas (Gulmi) and Samarbhamar (Arghakhanchi). They are also recorded from Lamadanda (Dhadhing), Nangre (Kavre), Bhorle (Ramechhap), Bauli Gad (Bajhang) etc. There is no cobalt mine at present.

Nickel (Ni) occurrences are reported from few polymetallic deposits like in Bamangaon (Dadeldhura), Bering Khola (Ilam), Bauligad (Bajhang), Khopre Khani (Sindhuli) and old workings from Nangre, Nigre, and Bhorle (Kavre) area. The main ore of this metal is niccolite and pentlandite which are mainly associated with chalcopyrite, pyrrhotite, and pyrite. 

Gold (Au) is a precious metal which has a very good worldwide market. It is widely used in making coins, ornaments, jewelry, dental appliances, electroplating, metal coating, and many other purposes. In Nepal alluvial/ placer gold are frequently wined by local dwellers (Botes) from the river gravel/ sediments deposited by the rivers like Mahakali, Chamliya, Jamari Gad, Seti, Karnali, Bheri, Rapti, Lungri Khola & Phagum Khola (Rolpa), Kaligandaki, Myagdi Khola, Modi, Madi, Marshyangdi, Trishuli, Budhigandaki, and Sunkoshi along their high and low floodplains as well as in their terraces. Primary gold occurrences are known from Lungri Khola area (Rolpa); Bangabagar, Gorang & Jamari gad (Baitadi); Bamangaon (Dadeldhura) but they are yet to be evaluated by detail exploration.

Silver (Ag) is generally associated with zinc-lead ore and in gold. In Nepal minor amount of silver is reported in the zinc + lead ore of Ganesh Himal (Rasuwa), Barghare (Makwanpur), and polymetallic sulfide of Bering Khola (Ilam), cobalt ore in Netadarling (Arghakhanchi) and Samarbhamar (Gulmi).

Tin (Sn) mineralizations are normally reported in the vicinity of granitic rocks. Cassiterite is the main ore which is recorded mainly at Meddi and Ganera (Dadeldhura); and Mandu Khola area (Makwanpur). In-situ cassiterite mineralization and cassiterite rich floats are seen in Meddi Khola. But it does not appear as economic deposit.

Tungsten (W) is a very important element which is used in electric bulbs, making hard high-speed cutting steels and tungsten cable, drilling bits, armory etc. The common ores of tungsten are Scheelite and Wolframite. In Nepal, tungsten ores like scheelite occurrences are known from Bamangaon polymetal sulphide deposit and few other places in Dadeldhura and Makwanpur districts.

Minor occurrences of Molybdenum (Mo) are reported from Khari Khola (Solukhumbu), Bamangaon (Dadeldhura), Bauli Gad (Bajhang), Lungri Khola (Rolpa), Samarbhamar (Arghakhanchi) and Chau Khola (Makwanpur). Molybdenite is the chief ore mineral.

Ilmenite and Rutile contains Titanium (Ti). Minor amount of Chromium (Cr) and titanium (Ti) are detected from the Iron ore of Those (Ramechhap) and Bauligad (Bajhang). Rutile grains are commonly recorded in the heavy concentrate samples from the major rivers of Nepal.

Uranium (U) and Thorium (Th) are the two known radioactive elements in Nepal. Radioactive minerals like autonite are recorded from Thumki, Jagat, Panchmane, Gagalphedi, and Chunikhel in Shivapuri area in Kathmandu. Few other ores of uranium like uraninite, tyuyamunite, carnotite and cofinite are known from Tinbhangale, Chandi Khola and Chiruwa Khola (Makwanpur); Buka Khola (Sindhuli); Mardar Khola and Panpa Khola (Chitwan); Jamari Gad, Bangabagar, Baggoth, Gorang (Baitadi); and traces in different section of Chamliya River (Darchula). Among them, Gorang and Tinbhangale prospects appear interesting.

Bismuth (Bi) is reported from Bamangaon polymetal sulphide deposit in Dadeldhura; and Baraghare and Mandu Khola area in Makwanpur district. It is mainly used to make alloys with antimony, lead, tin, and cadmium, in medicine and cosmetic items.

Cinnabar is the chief ore of Mercury (Hg). It is reported from Tirche Pani/ Taruka. Talalov (1972) reported cinnabar from the heavy concentrate sample from Khimti River and Zinc-lead ore from Pangu.

Lithium (Li) occurrences are known from the pegmatites of Hyakule and Phakuwa (Sankhuwasabha district). Petalite and Spodumene are the main ores of lithium. Lepidolite (mica) appears to be the source of lithium in Pegmatite.

Beryllium (Be) can be extracted from Beryl and aquamarine which are known from the pegmatites of Khaptad, and different parts of Manang, Kathmandu, Nuwakot, Rasuwa, Phakuwa, Hyakule, Ilam and  Taplejung districts.

Arsenopyrite and realgar are the main sources of Arsenic (As) which occur mainly in polymetallic sulfide deposits e.g. in Bamangaon and Bering Khola. Occasionally arsenopyrite is also the pathfinder for gold mineralization.

In addition to above mentioned metals/ Metallic ore minerals, minor occurrences of Antimony (Sb) Tantalum (Ta), Niobium (Nb), Lanthanum (La), Selenium (Ce), Cadmium (Cd), Titanium (Ti), Vanadium (V), and Mercury (Hg) are also reported from different parts mostly as associated minerals. Tantalum and Niobium are traced form in the pegmatites and Granites of the Lesser Himalaya. Chemical analysis of some of the muscovites from pegmatites of Phakuwa (Sankhuwasabha) has indicated up to 140ppm Ta.

All these information indicate that Nepal is potential for metallic minerals. But the exploration activities in the past have revealed that most of them are sub-economic to none economic deposits. Now the price of many metals has gone up significantly. Therefore, further detail investigations in the known areas, evaluation of specific deposits and exploration in the new geologically prospective areas may lead to finding the potential economic deposits of metallic minerals. 

Talc: Occurrences of talc bands, lenses, veins, and pockets are known in magnesite, dolomite and chloritic talc schist in different parts of Lalitpur, Dolakha, Sindhupalchok, Dhadhing, Chitwan, Tanahun, Kaski, Syangja, Surkhet, Bajhang, Bajura, Baitadi and Darchula districts. DMG has issued 25 prospecting and 6 mining license to the private sector. Khari Dhunga talc mine is in operation for more than 2 decades.

Mica: Several but comparatively small occurrences of mica (muscovite and biotite) books are known from different parts of Nepal. But mineable coarse size mica books are recorded only in complex pegmatite Langtang (Rasuwa), Bhumidanda and Kharanetar (Nuwakot), Chaukibhanjyang (Kathmandu), Nibuwagaon (Sindhupalchok), Lekhpatan, Fulbari and Tikachaur (Jajarkot), Khaptad (Bajhang), Baskot and Bhasukan (Doti), Fikal (Ilam), Chilingdin (Panchthar), Rangmale, Akabu/ Sainsabu, Dobal Pokhari, and Khanigaon (Taplejung), Phakuwa and Hyakule (Sankhuwasabha) etc..

Ceramic clay/ Red clay: Irregularly distributed scattered pockets of kaolin are known from Daman (Makwanpur), Panchmane (Kathmandu), Dalchhap and few other places.

Red clay from Panchkhal (Kavre), Lamosure (Hetaunda), Trijuga/ Beltar (Udayapur), Chidika (Arghakhanchi), Guttu (Surkhet) are used in cement factory. Clay from Thimi/ Bhaktpur is used in small-scale pottery industries. Huge amount of siltyclay deposits in different parts of Kathmandu valley is used to manufacture bricks. In villages, it is also used in house wall painting. DMG has issued four prospecting and seven mining licenses.

Pyrite is mainly used to extract sulphur and manufacture sulphur compounds e.g. sulphuric acid, ferus sulphate etc. It is rarely used as iron ore where no other iron ore is available. Pyrite is abundantly found in Bering Khola (Ilam), Chhirling Khola (Bhojpur), Pandav Khani (Baglung), Meddi and Bamangaon (Dadeldhura), and many other places mainly in almost all polymetal sulphide deposits.

Silica Sand: About 11.9 million tons of sand suitable for glass industry has been proved in Karra Khola near Hetaunda in Makwanpur district. There is a possibility to find similar sand deposits in similar deposition environment (e.g. in Dudhaura Khola) in other parts of Nepal.

Barites are known from Khanidanada (Pyuthan), Barghare (Makwanpur), Dhokadhunge (Rolpa), Phakuwa (Sankhuwasabha), Urathi, (Baitadi). True picture of barite resource is still unknown.

Graphite is one of the significant mineral in metamorphic terrain in Lesser Himalayan regions. They are reported from Ilam, Dhankuta, Sankhuwasabha, Nuwakot, Sindhupalchok, Dadeldhura etc.

Calcite deposit as such in large size is not identified, however, minor calcite veins and lenses are recorded mainly in carbonate rocks. Calcites are known at few places as stalactite and stalagmite and dog tooh spar in some of the limestone cavities/ caverns. Small-scale calcite mine is under development in Nibuwagaon. (Makwanpur).

Diatomite is reported from Chobhar, Thimi Bode and few other places in Kathmandu valley. Small-scale mining of diatomite is in operation in Thimi and Bode of Bhaktapur district.

Salt: Brine water that occurs in Narsing Khola (Mustang), Chhiding Khola and Chharkabhot (Dolpa) are tapped and dried for common salt production. Brine water of these area contains 1.5 to 3% NaCl, whereas incrustation contains of 72.8% NaCl and 24.5% KCl.

 Gemstones

Semiprecious stones like tourmaline, aquamarine/ beryl, garnet, kyanite, amethyst, citrine, smoky quartz (quartz crystals); and precious stones like ruby, sapphire etc. are known only from few districts.

Tourmaline: Five distinct types of tourmaline are known from Nepal (Basset 1978). Gem quality distinct multihued tourmaline (elbaite) of Hyakule and Phakuwa; pink, bright green, light orange sometimes with repeated color banding, olive green with amber colored core are known from Hyakule, Eastern Nepal. Small-scale mines of aquamarine, beryl, tourmalines are in operation. Pegmatites of Langtang valley (Rasuwa) and Naje (Manang) are also promising for Beryl/ aquamarine and tourmaline. Two tourmaline mines are in operation in Daha area in Jajarkot.

Beryl/ Aquamarine of Taplejung (Ikabu, Lodantar) area are highly prized. Similarly, hambergite, danburite, and ijolite are the important gemstones that are found in Nepal. In Taplejung beryl and aquamarine, mines are in operation whereas the tourmaline mines are still in development stage. Gem quality clear blue aquamarine of Phakuwa (Sakhuwasabha), aquamarine/ beryl and few green colored tourmalines from Naje and few other localities in Manang district (Tamrakar, 1990, and Einfalt et al, 1995), western Nepal are reported. Lekhpatan and Tikachaur in Jajarkot; Jagat, Panchmane, Kagtigaon, in Kathmandu; Baguwa, Tarkeghyang, Nibuwagaon in Sindhupalchok are the other known places for Beryl.

Garnets are recorded from strongly tectonized lenses and pods of chlorite-biotite-garnet schist within high-grade metamorphic rock sequence mainly in the Higher Himalayan region. Deep red or red colored almandine, hessonite, and pyrope garnet are mined mainly in Sankhuwasabha and Taplejung districts. Small-scale garnet mines were in operation in Budhekhani, Bhote Khola, Hanglaung, Khining, Sunamla, and Swachi Khani in Sankhuwasabha district.

Kyanites are known mainly from Dolakha, Sankhuwasabha, Taplejung, Rasuwa, Dhadhing and Jajarkot Achham districts. Four small-scale kyanite mines are in operation in Daha and Suneri in Jajarkot and Barah of Aachham districts. Elongated tabular inky blue kyanite crystals are cut for gems.

Rubies and Sapphire: Gem quality but generally small crystal of light red to red ruby and light to dark blue colored sapphire are known from in Chumar, Ruyil (Dhadhing) and Lari/ Ganesh Himal (Rasuwa). They occur in highly tectonized intensely folded en-echelon lenses of saccharoidal dolomite within the high-grade metamorphic rocks close to MCT. 

Quartz Crystals (Rock Crystal): Two small-scale quartz crystals mines are in operation from pegmatites in Khejemi/ Sirku (Taplejung) and Raluka (Nuwakot). Quartz crystals are also known from different parts of Jajarkot, Dailekh, Dhadhing, Rasuwa, Nuwakot, Sakhuwasabha, Ilam and Taplejung districts. Only colored verities e.g. mainly amethyst, citrine, and smoky quartz are cut for gems. 

Decorative and Dimension Stones 

Marble: Pink, gray and white colored marble deposit (1.63 million ton) is located in Godavari, Lalitpur district. Based on this deposit Godavari marble industries (Pvt.) Ltd. is established. Its annual production capacity is about 80,000m2 polished marble slabs. It is producing about 50,000m2 to 70,000m2 polished marble slabs and some crazy marble, chips, and aggregate as bi-products. Based on Anekot (Kavre) marble deposit Everest marble and allied industry is in operation. Recently Nawadurga Marble Industry Pvt. Ltd is developing marble quarry in Chhatre Deurali in Dhadhing. 

Granites are known from, Makwanpur (Palung and Ipa), Sindhuli, Udaipur, Dadeldhura in the Lesser Himalaya. Course-grained, massive granites are used as decorative and dimension stones. Granites are also known from the Higher Himalayan and Inner Himalayan (Tethys) region.

Quartzite is a hard metamorphic rock which consists of mainly quartz. It is abundantly known from many districts like Taplejung, Ilam, Panchthar, Solukhumbu, Dhankuta, Ramechhap, Sindhupalchok, Makwanpur, Dhadhing, Nuwakot, Tanahun, Kaski, Syangja, Parbat, Baglung, Beni, Dang, Sallyan, Rolpa, Rukum, Jajarkot, Achham, Doti, Bajhang, Bajura, Dadeldhura, Baitadi, Darchula and few other districts.

Slate is the common roofing and pavement material that is extensively mined from different parts of Dhankuta, Sindhupalchok, Ramechhap, Nuwakot, Sindhupalchok, Dhadhing, Baglung, Parbat, Jajarkot, Achham, Doti, Dadeldhura, Baitadi, Bajhang, Bajura and many other districts since historic time.

Construction Minerals (Materials)

Rocks are the main construction materials since the Stone Age. Some of the rocks like marble, basalt, granite, and red sandstones are used in decoration; phyllite, slates, flaggy quartzite, and schist are used for roofing; limestone, dolomite, quartzite, sandstone are used for aggregate in various construction works, road paving and flooring. Vast quantities of river boulders, cobbles, pebbles, and sands are mined as construction materials/ aggregates. DMG (Y.P. Sharma et al 1988) has evaluated such materials (Boulders = 347,006,000m3, Cobbles = 214,261,000m3 and Pebbles = 229,205,000m3) in the Major Rivers of Terai region.

Fuel Minerals

Coal: In Nepal low to medium grade coal occurrences/ deposits are known in four stratigraphic positions e.g. (i) Quaternary lignite (ii) Siwalik coal (iii) Eocene Coal and (iv) Gondwana coal. Peat/ lignite in Kathmandu valley is mined and used mainly in brick burning. Siwalik coal is not economically attractive because of scattered small lenses. Eocene Coal occurs as irregular seams confined to orthoquartzite in Tosh, Siuja, Azimara, and Abidhara in Dang, Sallyan, Rolpa, Pyuthan, and Palpa districts. Small-scale 20 coal mines are in operation in these districts. In addition to that 49 prospecting license are also issued by DMG. Present Coal production in Nepal is insignificantly small (150 -250mt/ day).

Petroleum and Natural Gas: A number of Oil and Natural gas seeps are recorded in a stretch of about 14km in Padukasthan, Sirsethan and Navisthan area in Dailekh and only gas seeps in Muktinath in Mustang. GON/DMG/Petroleum Exploration Promotion Project (PEPP) are giving high priority to explore and promote petroleum exploration in Nepal since 1982. DMG/ PEPP were able to identify 10 prospective blocks in the southern parts of the country. Shell Company of Netherlands conducted exploration in Block no.10 in eastern Nepal. It has drilled a well up to 3520m deep but the hole appeared dry. Since last few years Texana Resources Company of the USA and Cairn Energy PLC of UK have initiated the exploration works in Block no 3 & 5; and 1, 2, 4, 6 & 7 respectively. The possibility of finding oil in some of these blocks appears fairly high.

Prospective blocks for Petroleum and Natural Gas exploration in Nepal

Methane gas deposit in Kathmandu Valley is known for a long time. It dissolves in water type biogenic gas. DMG explored this gas in 26 sq. km area in Kathmandu valley by exploration drilling of over 14 drill holes up to the 570m depth and proved 310 million cubic meter methane gas deposit. The gas occurs at a different depth from 120m to 300m. Its average calorific value is 7200kcal/m3. A model gas plant is set in Tripureshor/ Teku. Feasibility study has confirmed that the gas can be used for industrial and household purpose and the reserve is sufficient to supply gas to 21,000 families for about 30 years. The GON/ DMG is inviting for a potential investor to come forward with the suitable proposal to develop the gas wells and commercialize this gas deposit for the benefit of the people.

Geothermal Hot Springs: During preliminary study 23 geothermal hot springs are identified. Most of them are found to be associated with Main Central Thrust (MCT) and confined to the river banks e.g. in Mahakali, Karnali, Tila, Kaligandaki, Myagdi Khola, Marshyangdi, Trishuli, Bhotekoshi Rivers, and in Kodari. The temperature of the hot spring water ranges from 40o to 115oC. It can be utilized for heating, drying fruits, hot water bath to heal skin disease.

Radioactive Minerals like uranium are known from Sindhuli, Makwanpur, Kathmandu and Baitadi districts. There is a high possibility to find such minerals in the granitic terrain (granite, gneiss, and pegmatite) in the Higher and Lesser Himalayan region and from the Siwalik sandstone. Uranium is a major source of fuel for the production of Nuclear energy.

All the mineral resources that occur in the country are owned by the state. DMG under the Ministry of Industry is the responsible government authority which is conducting systematic geological mapping and mineral exploration activities in the country since last five decades. In course of time DMG has been successful to identify a number of metallic, nonmetallic/ industrial and fuel mineral deposits/ prospects/ occurrences and prove some economic and sub-economic mineral deposits and also promote few mineral based industries like cement, agrilime, marble, talc, dead burnt magnesite, zinc-lead, coal, gemstones, pottery etc. Few small to medium scale mines of limestone, magnesite, marble, talc, coal, peat, clay, salt, talc, mica, quartz crystals, semiprecious and precious stones, dimension/ paving stones, roofing slates are in operation by the private entrepreneurs after obtaining the licenses from DMG. There are over 29 limestone quarries from which limestone are supplied to cement industries. Six gem mines are in operation and few gem industries, which do cutting and polishing of semiprecious and precious stones from Nepal and abroad are established. Construction aggregates, sand, gravel, dimension stone, decorative stones, paving stones and roofing slates are the other important mineral resources which have a high demand for infrastructural development works. Metallic minerals like iron, copper, lead, zinc, cobalt, nickel, gold, are known from different parts of Nepal but they are not yet mined. Only Two placer gold mining license has been issued to the private sector but till this time they did not show any production. A private Company did detail exploration of Those iron deposit in Ramechhap and now in the process of obtaining mining license from DMG. It is envisaged that if the GON give high priority to exploit mineral resources with liberal policy, within next few years time some more industrial minerals, base metals, precious metals, gemstones, coal, and petroleum deposits will be proved, a number of mines will be operated and more mineral based industries and petroleum industries will be established in Nepal.

There are ample opportunities for the investors to invest in the commercially viable mineral commodities that deserve investment. Some of the proved economic mineral deposits have been developed and are being used in industries like cement, industrial lime, agriculture lime, dead burnt magnesite, talk (in the paper, soap) and marble industries. Some small-scale industries are using local limestone, dolomite, quartz, talc, clay, coal, peat, precious and semiprecious stones, brine water (salt) etc. There is a high demand of construction materials such as aggregate, dimension stones, paving stones, slates, boulders, gravel, and sand. Investment in these resources is highly rewarding.