Pakistani companies come forward to develop Reko Diq gold, copper mines

10:59 PM | 17 May, 2021
Pakistani companies come forward to develop Reko Diq gold, copper mines

ISLAMABAD — A consortium of Pakistani companies has submitted a proposal to the Balochistan government to develop Pakistan’s Reko Diq copper and gold mines.

The Pakistani consortium called National Resources says it wants to develop the mines located in the Chagai district in Balochistan. The consortium has also made a proposal to develop another major copper and gold mine in Balochistan.

“The consortium has proposed (to the) government to develop and implement the Tanjeel reserves as a starter project, followed by development of the vast Reko Diq area reserves,” an international newswire quoted the consortium as saying.

The Balochistan government has confirmed that it is examining the proposal submitted by the consortium consisting of Arif Habib Equity, Mari Petroleum Company, Liberty Mills, Reliance Commodities (Fatima group), Y.B. Pakistan (Lucky group) and South Western Mining.

The proposal to develop Reko Diq, one of the world’s largest copper and gold deposits containing 12.3 million tonnes of copper and 20.9 million ounces of gold in inferred and indicated resources, follows a court decision that blocked development of the mine by Tethyan Copper in 2013. Tethyan Copper was a joint venture between Chile’s Antofagasta and Canada’s Barrick Gold and it was blocked by the Supreme Court of Pakistan due to alleged irregularities in the award of the contract for the mine.

Tethyan Copper had invested more than $220 million in the project before it was stopped by the court from carrying on with work.

Later, the joint venture moved a global arbitration body, seeking damages over the blockage. In 2019, an international arbitration tribunal of the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) ordered Pakistan to pay Tethyan Copper $5.8 billion in damages.