Pakistan’s Biggest Cement Maker to Get Mine Permit for Expansion

Pakistan’s Lucky Cement Ltd. is close to winning a permit to extract limestone in Punjab province, signaling expansion plans by the nation’s largest maker of the building material by market value.

The company will get a limestone quarry for a cement plant in Punjab, and the local administration has approved the deal, said Arshad Mehmood, secretary for Punjab’s mines and minerals department. An agreement is expected to be signed in the next few days, he said.

The Karachi-based cement maker is set to join producers including Attock Cement Pakistan Ltd. and D.G. Khan Cement Ltd. that have announced expansion plans as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif looks to boost infrastructure spending.

“Everything is positive for construction,” Bilal Khan analyst at Karachi-based Global Securities Pakistan Ltd., said by phone. “If growth stays at the same pace, the person who decides to expand today is the winner.”

Sharif is seeking to accelerate growth in the $247 billion economy to the fastest pace since 2008 with the spending, while China and Pakistan have announced a 3,000-kilometer, $46 billion economic corridor, which includes roads, ports, power plants and dams.

Lucky Cement’s shares have advanced about 50 percent in the past year, outperforming the 21 percent gain in the benchmark KSE100 Index. Shares fell 1 percent to 523 rupees as of 10:21 a.m. local time. They rose to a record last month.

The company operates two plants at 85 percent of capacity in Pakistan. It also has a cement grinding facility in Iraq and is part of a venture that will build a cement plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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