After coming across the country's first iron mine at Hakimpur upazila in Dinajpur, the Bangladesh Geological Survey (GSB) says they have found another iron ore mine at Chirirbandar upazila in the district.
The GSB is set to start excavation and drilling activities in the first week of April, aiming to confirm the exact location of the new mine in Keshabpur mouza of the Punotti union. The activities will continue for the next four months.
However, GSB officials have already started a feasibility study, and once the location of the mine is confirmed, there will be six mines in the district.
There are three coal mines – one each at Barapukuria, Phulbari, and Dighipara; a stone mine at Madhyapara; and an iron mine at Ishabpur of Hakimpur in the district.
Earlier in 2001, a well was excavated in the hope of finding a copper mine at Ambari in Parbatipur upazila.
Sources said, as part of the feasibility study, a GSB research team has started digging wells. The first three months will be spent digging these wells and exploring for mineral resources.
The thickness of iron ore in the new mine is much higher. Other valuable resources - including copper - along with iron can be found in the mine, they hope.
Signboards have been erected demarking the protected areas. Necessary equipment has been brought to Keshabpur Mouza.
Belal Uddin of village Keshabpur said they want a fair price for their lands.
Punotti UP chairman Nur-e-Kamal said he has received a copy of a letter signed by GSB Director Abdul Aziz Patwari.
'If the mine employs locals here, then it is definitely good for us. If the land and houses are damaged, the affected people will get compensation at the fixed price set by the government,' he said.
Meanwhile, the Planning and Implementation unit of GSB has also sent letters to Dinajpur Deputy Commissioner, the Superintendent of Police, Chirirbandar Upazila Nirbahi Officer, Upazila Chairman, Union Parishad Chairman, Chirirbandar Police Station and others concerned for cooperation in all works including well excavation.
The letter, signed by branch chief, Geochemistry and Water Resources Branch of GSB Mohammad Abdul Aziz Patwari, said according to the GSB, under the revenue sector, five officers will travel and stay in the area in Dinajpur for four months of the fiscal year 2020-21 with the aim of implementing GDH 76/21 well digging activities at Punotti union of the district.
According to the letter, deputy director (drilling engineer) Masud Rana is in-charge of the well excavation, and he will be assisted by deputy director (drilling engineer) Nihajul Islam, assistant director (drilling engineer) Nazmul Hossain Khan, assistant director (drilling engineer) Manjur Ahmed Elahi and assistant director (drilling engineer) Roknuzzaman.
Chirirbandar Upazila Nirbahi Officer Ayesha Siddique confirmed the matter, and said, "I have received a letter from the ministry. In the light of that letter, I have given permission to carry out excavation activities."
GSB Director General Dr Md Sher Ali is expected to inaugurate the excavation work.