- Company president states first phase of Reko Diq copper-gold project will be completed by 2027-28
ISLAMABAD: Barrick Gold Corporation President Mark Bristow Monday stated that the first phase of Reko Diq copper-gold project will be completed by 2027-28, and the scheme will convert it into a “world-class mine and transform Balochistan”.
The framework agreement will be finalised with Pakistani authorities after legal cover from Parliament, review from the Supreme Court of Pakistan and settlement of pending legal issues. Bristow, president and chief executive officer of Barrick, stated at a press conference that the company was still negotiating the legal framework with the current government and desired legislation pertaining to the transaction.
For the long-term viability of this project’s investment, the company desired the parliament and the Supreme Court review this deal.
“We want a partnership framework that complies with the law,” he said.
The international court of arbitration ruled in favour of foreign companies, including Barrick, in a legal dispute between Pakistan and foreign firms.
“We had been fighting for a long time and decided to find a way to execute the Reko Diq gold project because the conflict was bad for all parties,” he said, adding that it would attract additional investment in the region.
He said that the long-term project in the wake of changing political realities required legal cover because they were dealing with the state, not with any specific political individual.
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.
International Finance Corporation (IFC) will provide risk insurance for the execution of this multi-billion-dollar project in a smooth manner, Bristow said.
“The feasibility studies are underway, however they estimate that 200,000 billion copper per year and 400,000 tons of gold could be found from the site,” he added.
The share of Pakistan stood at 50 percent whereby the Balochistan government would start getting royalty as in the first year, it would get $5 million, second year $7.5 million and then until completion of project $10 million per year.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022