For the first time in Bangladesh, a magnetite (iron ore) mine has been discovered at Isabpur village in Hakimpur upazila of the district, bringing new hopes for the country's economy.
The Geological Survey of Bangladesh (GSB) made the groundbreaking announcement on Tuesday morning following an extensive examinations after drilling a well for two months.
A 400-foot thick iron layer was found 1,750 feet beneath the surface and it stretches over an area of 6-10 square kilometres, said GSB Deputy Director Mohammad Masum around 11:30am.
He said the percentage of iron in the mine is 65 while that in Canada, China, Brazil Sweden and Australia is below 50.
The GSB official said apart from the presence of gold, there are copper, nickel and chromium in the layer. "Limestone was also found at a depth of 1150 feet," he said, adding that the discovery of iron mine is the first in Bangladesh.
He said the GSB found the existence of mineral substances drilling a well at Mushidpur, 3 kms off Isabpur village, in 2013. "In line of the survey, digging began at Isabpur village on April 19 last after long six years. While drilling from 1380-1500 feet, we saw rays of hope," he said.
GSB Director General Zillur Rahman Chowdhury along with other senior officials visited the site on May 26 when he hinted at the discovery of the country's first iron mine.
The Geological Survey of Bangladesh started the digging after taking 50 decimals of land from farmer Ishaque Ali of Isabpur village, 11 kms of the upazila headquarters of Hakimpur, on lease for four months at Tk 45,000.
GSB Deputy Director (Drilling Engineer) M Masud Rana said a 30-member team of experts did the drilling work in three shifts.
The discovery of the iron mine has opened up economic prospects for the country, too.
While the extraction of iron ore will be viable economically, it will also create employment opportunities for many, said insiders.