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Friday, April 12, 2024

Reko Diq alliance between Pakistan and Barrick: Evolving it as “world-class mine”

Bristow said that approximately $7 billion investment in Riko Diq mines for developing gold and copper in two phases would be injected

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail and Barrick president and chief executive Mark Bristow shared their clear vision of the national strategic significance of the Reko Diq copper-gold project and were devoted to evolving it as a “world-class mine” that would create value for the country and its people through multiple generations.

Importantly, Reko Diq is one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper-gold deposits. A preliminary deal agreed earlier this year between the government of Pakistan, the provincial government of Baluchistan, and Barrick calls for the reconfiguration and relaunch of the project, which has been on pause since 2011.

Read more: Huge investment doors to open for Pakistan by 2023

It will be operated by Barrick with 50 percent share in ownership, 25 percent by the Baluchistan Provincial Government and 25 percent by state-owned enterprises of Pakistan.

After legal cover from Parliament, review by the Supreme Court of Pakistan and resolution of pending legal challenges, the agreement regarding its framework will be concluded with Pakistani authorities.

In a legal conflict between Pakistan and foreign enterprises, an international court of arbitration decided in favor of foreign companies, including Barrick.

Construction of the first phase will follow that with first production of copper and gold expected in 2027/2028.

Bristow highlighted, “during the negotiations the federal government and Barrick confirmed that Baluchistan and its people should receive their fair share of the benefits as part of the Pakistan ownership group”.

Under the project, Bristow said that approximately $7 billion investment in Riko Diq mines for developing gold and copper in two phases would be injected.

There will be a total $4 billion investment in phase-I and $3 billion in phase-II and the production will start from fiscal year 2027-28.

Finance Minister Ismail said the development of Reko Diq represented the largest direct foreign investment in Balochistan and one of the largest in Pakistan.

He added, “we believe that the future of mining lies in mutually beneficial partnerships between host countries and world-class mining companies. The Reko Diq agreement exemplifies this philosophy and also signals to the international community that Pakistan is open for business.”