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PR Short Notes


Photo Source: Dawn

Pakistan Reader# 476, 16 December 2022

Federal and Balochistan governments sign final agreement with Barrick Gold on Reko Diq



How did the final settlement fare between the governments?

Bhoomika Sesharaj

On 15 December, the federal and Balochistan governments signed the final agreement on the Reko Diq project with Barrick Gold. This comes as the Supreme Court approved a settlement to restart mining at the Reko Diq site located in the Chagai District in Balochistan. The agreement will be implemented and be taken into effect from 16 December, with the company beginning the preliminary process of the project with “immediate effect.” The Balochistan government said that the agreement was “historic” and was Pakistan’s “biggest investment accord.” The government said that the signage of the agreement would cease the USD 6.5 billion imposed by an international court and that it had become “ineffective.” 

Barrick Gold’s reaction to the agreement, Reko Diq’s replenishment

The Reko Diq project is one of the largest underdeveloped copper-gold projects in the world and is owned by Barrick Gold three federal state-owned enterprises and the Balochistan government by 50, 25, 15 and 10 per cent shares. The project was signed on a “fully funded and free carried” basis and was confirmed by Barrick Gold as well. The company said that it had finished the “reconstitution” of the Reko Diq after receiving a “favourable” opinion from the Supreme Court of Pakistan and that the necessary legislation has been “passed into law.” 

The company’s president said that the finalisation of the legal processes proved to be imperative in the “progressing” of the development of Reko Diq and that it would transition into a “world-class, long-life” mine that would exponentially widen the company’s “strategically significant” copper folder. He also said that the company is presently processing the project’s feasibility with the research available from 2010 and 2011 and that the project would be completed by 2024 and the first production is targeted at 2028. The company also said that the economic benefits of the project would be “delivered” and that the mine would create job opportunities and promote growth and investment in the province. Additionally, the company mentioned that the fully funded shareholding would entail dividends, royalties and other benefits without financial contributions and that the project is expected to employ nearly 7,500 people in production, creating about 4,000 jobs. The company reiterated that Reko Diq’s ownership maintained the partnership between Pakistan, and Balochistan and the company and would “benefit all stakeholders” of the project, which amounts to nearly USD 945 million. (Saleem Shahid, “Govt, Barrick Gold sign final accord on Reko Diq,” Dawn, 16 December 2022, Hasnaat Malik, “Pakistan inks final deal for Reko Diq project,” Dawn, 16 December 2022)

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