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Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/79

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Gold to a small amount is washed from the gravel of the Indus and some other rivers by native workers, and large concessions have, been granted for systematic dredging, but these enterprises have not yet reached the commercially paying stage.

Other Metals.— Prospecting has been carried on at irregular intervals in Kulu and along the corresponding belt of schistose rocks further west in Kashmir and Chitral. The copper ores occur as sulphides along certain bands in the chloritic and micaceous schists, similar in composition and probably in age to those worked further east in Kumaon, in Nipal, and in Sikkim. In Lahul near the Shigri glacier there is a lode containing antimony sulphide with ores of zinc and lead, which would almost certainly be opened up and developed but for the difficulty of access and cost of transport to the only valuable markets.

Petroleum springs occur among the Tertiary formations of the Panjab and Biluchistan, and a few thousand gallons of oil are raised annually Prospecting operations have been carried on vigorously during the past two or three years, but no large supplies have so far been proved. The principal oil-supplies of Burma and Assam have been obtained from rocks of Miocene age, like those of Persia and the Caspian region, but the most promising "shows" in North West India have been in the older Nummulitic formations, and the oil is thus regarded by some experts as the residue of the material which has migrated from the Miocene beds that probably at one time covered the Nummulitic formations, but have since been removed by the erosive action of the atmosphere.

Alum is manufactured from the pyritous shales of the Mianwali district, the annual output being generally about 200 to 300 tons. Similar shales containing pyrites are known to occur in other parts of this area, and possibly the industry might be considerably extended, as the