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TRIP TO HUNZA RUBY MINES:

The ruby deposits in Pakistan occur in metamorphosed re-crystallized limestone marble in a narrow belt from Hunza Valley to Ishkoman that is more than 100 km in the northern areas (Gilgit Baltistan) of Pakistan. Ruby deposits are also occurring in Azad Kashmir and Astor. The Hunza ruby crystals, quite well formed, are pink to a fine red in color. Calcite crystals, which make up the ruby bearing marble are found within the stone themselves and cause opacity. Most of rubies from Hunza Valley are clouded and calcite is commonest mineral inclusion, since the rubies are formed in metamorphosed limestone, which is consist largely calcite. Potassium mica, phlogopite is also common inclusion forming bunch of reddish brown flakes. Yellow-brass crystals of Pyrite also found. Other internal features are cracks and parting planes directions in which the crystal may divide internally.

SPINEL
Spinal is a member of the cubic crystal system and has the composition MgAl2O4. A fine red color is obtained where a chromium impurity is present and somewhat darkish blue that is due to iron are also known, as is a plum-colored variety. Spinel is hard mineral 8 on Mohs scale and tough without cleavage.

PARGASITE:
Pargasite is a member of the amphibole group of minerals and composition of Naca2 (Mg, Fe2+) 4 Al (si2 Al2) O22 (OH)2. It crystallizes in the monoclinic system. The deep pistachio green crystals of pargasite occur in the metamorphosed crystalline marble a long with spinel and ruby in Hunza Valley. It is more abundant in the rocks and quarries along the Hunza River. The dealers and in Karimabad Bazaar often sell them as Hunza emeralds.

Ruby, Spinel and Pargasite are found along the Main Karakorum Thrust (MKT) and these are commonly occur side by side in this metamorphosed re-crystallized marble beds, which form part of a thick sequence of meta-sediments known as the Baltit group that extended over 100 Km between the Hunza Valley ( East) and Ishkoman Valley ( West). The gems bearing marbles crop out adjacent and parallel the suture zone (MKT). The suture zone is characterized by a thin belt of green schist, serpentinite, black slates and mylonite, exposed south of the Hunza River. These rocks have been thrust southward over the Kohistan Isand Arc sequence that is meta-volcanic along the northern slopes of Rakaposhi Mountain.  The Baltit Group is consists of gem bearing marbles, garnet schist, quartz mica schist, garnet amphilbolites. The intrusive are mainly applite, granite and pegmatite dykes which cross the Hunza marble and adjoining Karakorum Granodiorite site.

In local market where plenty of the shops are flooded with various gemstones of Gilgit-Baltistan especially Hunza Ruby also in the market of Peshawar you will find mostly the gemstone from Northern Areas (Gilgit- Baltistan) of Pakistan. There are different mines in various regions of the Hunza Valley where local people doing mining by their own ways and sell the specimen to the local market or local agents from there. From here through the local agents all these material go to Gilgit and Peshawar markets then to the international market. There is also gems cutting center in Karimabad for the cutting and polish the stones as well as in Gilgit. There was a single company, “Global Mining” was mining in Ahamedabad but last year also stopped to work. The PMDC, Pakistan Minerals Development Co-operation, has also worked in Ganish and Ahamedabad during 1974 to 1978, also in Altit Village. According to a report of the PMDC that colour and hardness of the rubies from Ahamedabad areas are fairly good as compared to other areas of ruby bearing areas in the Hunza Valley.

ITINERARY:
Day-01: Arrival to Islamabad airport, meet with our guide and transfer to the hotel, in the rest of time sightseeing of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, overnight at hotel
Day-02: Fly to Gilgit or drive to Chilas via Naran and Babu Sar Pass or on Karakorum Highway/hotel
Day-03: Continue to Hunza Valley via Gilgit and stop at the point where Main Karakorum Trust (MKT), arrival of Hunza and visit to local gemstone shops, overnight at hotel
Day-04: Visit to  old ruby mine at Doyandas-Ganish then visit to Spinel mine and Pargasite mines then visit to Summyar-Nagar and meet some local miners in the village also local dealers in Nagar and back to Karimabad for overnight at hotel
Day-05: Trek 2-3 hours trek to ruby mines at Doyandas and back to Karimabad, visit of Baltit Fort, Altit Fort and Gabish Fort, overnight at hotel at Duikar Altit
Day-06: Drive to Khunjerab Pass border with China and back to Passu 5-6 hrs drive, overnight at hotel in Passu
Day-07: Drive to Gilgit/hotel
Day-08: Fly to Islamabad or drive to Besham or Naran/hotel
Day-09: Continue to Islamabad/hotel
Day-10: Departure from Islamabad (drop to the airport)