Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/77

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of sediments, into the great folds that now form the Himalayan Range. This great mass of Aryan strata includes an enormous number of fossil remains, giving probably a more complete record of the gradual changes that came over the marine fauna of Tethys than any other area of the kind known. One must pass over the great number of interesting features still left unmentioned, including the grand architecture of the Sub-Himalaya and the diversity of formations in different parts of the Frontier Province; for the rest of the available space must be devoted to a brief reference to the minerals of value.

Rock-salt, which occurs in abundance, is possibly the most important mineral in this area. The deposits most largely worked are those which occur in the well-known Salt Range, covering parts of the districts of Jhelam, Shahpur, and Mianwali. Near the village of Kheora the main seam, which is being worked in the Mayo mines, has an aggregate thickness of 550 feet, of which five seams, with a total thickness of 275 feet, consist of salt pure enough to be placed on the table with no more preparation than mere pulverising. The associated beds are impregnated with earth, and in places there occur thin layers of potash and magnesian salts. In this area salt quarrying was practised for an unknown period before the time of Akbar, and was continued in a primitive fashion until it came under the control of the British Government with the occupation of the Panjab in 1849. In 1872 systematic mining operations were planned, and the general line of work has been continued ever since, with an annual output of roughly 100,000 tons.

Open quarries for salt are developed a short distance to the east-north-east of Kalabagh on the Indus, and similar open work is practised near Kohat in the North