President Dr Arif Alvi filed a reference in the Supreme Court of Pakistan to seek an opinion on the Reko Diq case. The reference was filed on advice of the prime minister, reported Aaj News on Tuesday.
Earlier this month, President Alvi, on the advice of the prime minister, accorded approval to the summary for filing reference to the Supreme Court of Pakistan under Article 186 of the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973 in the Reko Diq project.
Reko Diq project: President accords approval to summary on reference
The Apex Committee, headed by Minister for Finance and Tethyan Copper Company Pakistan (Private) Limited shareholders, had agreed to a framework for the settlement and revival of the Reko Diq Project in March 2022.
The federal cabinet in a meeting held last month had approved the filing of reference to the SC under Article 186 of the Constitution with respect to the following questions of law of public importance: Whether the earlier judgment of the SC reported as Moulvi Abdul Haque Baloch. Federation of Pakistan PLD 2013 SC 641, the Constitution of Pakistan, laws or public policy prevent the government of Pakistan and the government of Balochistan from entering into the Reko Diq Agreements or affect their validity? And if enacted, would the proposed Foreign Investment (Protection and Promotion) Bill, 2022 be valid and constitutional?
The federal cabinet had approved filing a Presidential reference in the Supreme Court to get validation of the new Reko Diq project deal.
Earlier, Barrick Gold Corporation, a Canada-based mining company, had asked the government to get the Reko Diq gold and copper deal stamped by the Parliament and the Supreme Court for the long-term sustainability of the company’s investment in the project.
Barrick Gold to convert Reko Diq into 'world class mine’
On Monday, Barrick Gold Corporation president and chief executive Mark Bristow said that the process of completing the final agreements and legal steps that would enable the development of the Reko Diq project is making steady progress.
As per the company’s statement, once the current legal processes have been finalised, Barrick will complete its update of the feasibility study, which currently envisages an open-pit operation with a life of more than 40 years.
It is envisaged that the project will be built in two phases at an initial estimated capital cost of approximately $7 billion and is expected to go into production between 2027 and 2028.
Reko Diq, one of the largest undeveloped copper-gold deposits in the world, will be owned 50% by Barrick, 25% by Balochistan province and 25% by the federal government.
The federal government’s share of 25% will be divided equally among three state-owned entities - the Oil and Gas Development Corporation Limited (OGDCL), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), and Government Holdings Pakistan Limited (GHPL).