The president and chief executive officer of Barrick, Mark Bristow, stated that the Reko Diq copper-gold project, which is a partnership between the company, the Balochistan Provincial Government, and Pakistani state-owned enterprises, would create substantial value for the province throughout multiple generations.
Bristow stated that during the negotiations between Barrick and the government of Pakistan, they had worked to ensure that Balochistan will receive a considerable share of the benefits generated by Reko Diq. He made this statement after his meeting with the chief minister of Balochistan, Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, which took place here in this city today.
“Balochistan’s shareholding in Reko Diq will be fully funded by its partners and the federal government. This means that the province will reap the dividends, royalties, and other benefits of its 25 percent ownership without having to contribute financially to the construction and operation of the mine. The federal government will also have a shareholding in Reko Diq. It is essential that the people of Balochistan and the country as a whole experience these advantages as soon as possible. Even before construction begins, once the process of legalization has been finished, we will begin implementing a variety of social development programs. These programs will be supported by an up-front commitment to the improvement of healthcare, education, vocational training, food security, and the provision of potable water. According to what he claimed, “social contributions are presently projected to amount to roughly $70 million over the construction period.” This estimate includes “upfront commitments of up to $3 million in the first year after closure and up to $7 million in year two.”
In addition, Reko Diq will advance royalties to the Government of Balochistan in the amount of up to $5 million in the first year following the closing of the deal, up to $7.5 million in the second year, and up to $10 million per year thereafter until commercial production starts, subject to a cumulative maximum of advance payments of $50 million. Reko Diq will do this until commercial production starts.
The Reko Diq project is planned to consist of a typical open pit mine and milling operation, with the end product being a high-quality copper-gold concentrate. This plan is contingent on the results of an updated feasibility study. It will be built in two phases, the first of which will involve the construction of a plant with the capacity to process approximately 40 million tonnes of ore on an annual basis. Following the start of production from the first phase of construction, this capacity could be doubled within five years. Reko Diq will be a multi-generational mine with a life expectancy of at least 40 years because of the unusual mix of big size, low strip, and excellent grade that it has. It is anticipated that the project would employ 7,500 people during its peak building phase, and once production begins, it will provide 4,000 employees permanently in nature. The decision made by Barrick to give local jobs and suppliers more priority will have a beneficial effect on the economy of the surrounding area.
If the Reko Riq project is successful, Pakistan can export gold, and there will be a substantial increase in the gold reserves in Pakistan. As the reserves will increase, which will lead to a decrease in the gold rate in Pakistan. This project can turn out to be very profitable.
History of Reko Diq:
In the language of the Baluchi people, the word Reko Diq translates to “sandy mountain,” and it is also the name of an extinct volcano. The Reko Diq Mine is renowned all over the globe for its enormous Gold and Copper Reserves, and it is thought to contain the fifth biggest gold deposit in the world.
The “Islamic Republic of Pakistan” lawsuit is an ongoing legal case between the Pakistan government and the Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) regarding breach of the Australia–Pakistan Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) and unlawful denial of mining rights to TCC at the Reko Diq Mine in Chagai District, Balochistan. The dispute centers on mining rights at the Reko Diq Deposit in Chagai District, Balochistan.