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LAHORE: China imports around 51% of copper from various countries which includes Pakistan, there is a lot more potential in this sector to further enhance trade by introducing contemporary technology and techniques stated by Wang Zihai, President Pakistan China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) during a think tank session held at PCJCCI Secretariat on Tuesday.

He said that the export of copper and other copper-related products from the country can help to boost local industry. He added four years back exports of copper from Pakistan were of only 106 million dollars, however, in the year 2021; copper exports to China have risen to 600 million dollars. He added it is to be noted that mining and processing of copper requires a high-end technology and the expertise of Chinese copper processing companies like MCC have played a very vital role to develop the Saindak copper mines from the year 1995 onwards. He said that Saindak Copper Gold Project is designed to produce and process 12,800 tons of copper ores per day (4.25 million tons per year); currently, the output of copper blister is about 13,000 tons annually.

Ehsan Choudhry, Senior Vice President PCJCCI said that the current rise in exports is seen through the largest copper reserves of Pakistan “Reko Diq project” which is now functional and will prove to be a game changer for Pakistan. If the agreement goes smoothly then one of the biggest players in the copper industry of China, Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) that is mining in Saindak mines expects to take the export to $10 billion per year. He added that in addition to Reko Diq and Saindak, Chitral region of Northern Pakistan is also very rich in copper reserves but unfortunately, a huge number of mines in that area are not producing due to lack of modern technology.

Sarfaraz Butt, Vice President PCJCCI added that over the past 19 years of operation this project have been making steady profits and have paid over $468m in taxes, fees and profits to the governments of Pakistan and Balochistan and the owner and created more than 1,900 jobs, procured about various production and living materials worth $1.1 billion and contributed to the development of local trade, transportation, logistics and other industries and provided the livelihood to thousands of families in the surrounding areas. He added that we should work upon the managerial and technical training of our Pakistani workers to improve their capacity so that they can get more benefits from this project.

Salahuddin Hanif, Secretary General PCJCCI highlighted that there is much more potential in the Reko Dik Project similar to that of Saindak Copper Gold Project. We hope that our government will conduct international tenders for these projects as soon as possible and are eager to increase the exports of copper to China.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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