Barrick Gold makes first payment of $3mn to Balochistan govt
- Reko Diq Pakistan country manager handed over the cheque to Mines and Minerals Development Department secretary
Barrick Gold Corporation has made the first payment of $3 million (approximately Rs750 million) to the government of Balochistan as part of the Reko Diq partnership, stated a press release on Tuesday.
Reko Diq Pakistan Country Manager Ali Rind handed over the cheque of $3 million to Mines and Minerals Development Department Secretary Saidal Khan Luni.
Barrick Gold plans to start productions at Reko Diq mine in 2028
As per the agreements, Barrick Gold and the government of Balochistan agreed upon the timetable for the disbursement of committed funds to the province. The agreement ensured that benefits from the project will start accruing to the people through advance royalties and social development funds well before the mine goes into production.
The project is expected to employ approximately 7,500 people and once it enters production, it will create around 4,000 long-term jobs, the statement added.
“Barrick’s policy of prioritising local employment and suppliers will have a positive impact on the local economy,” the company said.
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Barrick is working to set up community development committees to identify priority projects focused on food security, environmental management and access to education, healthcare and potable water, it added.
“Reko Diq is envisaged as a conventional open pit and milling operation, producing a high-quality copper-gold concentrate.”
The project will be completed in two phases, starting with a plant that will be able to process approximately 40 million tonnes of ore per annum which could be doubled in five years following first production from phase one, according to the press release.
Barrick Gold to convert Reko Diq into ‘world class mine’
“With its unique combination of large scale, low strip and good grade, Reko Diq will be a multi-generational mine with a life of at least 40 years.”
On January 16, Barrick Gold Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow said that the company has set 2028 as the target year for starting productions at the giant copper-gold mine in Reko Diq, Balochistan.
The company is also planning to complete an updated Reko Diq feasibility study by the end of 2024, said Mark Bristow in a news release on Monday.
The chief executive’s statement came in the backdrop of the completion of the legal processes and definitive transaction agreements last month.
According to the press release, Reko Diq will be operated by Barrick, which owns 50% of the project, with Balochistan holding 25% and three Pakistani state-owned enterprises sharing the remaining 25%. The shareholding structure is in line with Barrick’s policy of benefit-sharing partnerships with its host countries.
As part of a three-day project review in Quetta, Bristow, accompanied by senior Barrick executives, met with Balochistan chief minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo and other provincial leaders to brief them on the extensive social and economic development opportunities that would be generated by the mine, which is expected to have a life of at least 40 years.
After the meeting, Bristow and the chief minister signed a memorandum of agreement which specified the timetable for the disbursement of committed funds to the province, including advance royalties and social development funds, ensuring that the people of Balochistan start earning benefits from the project well before the mine goes into production. The agreement provided for an initial payment of $3 million this month.
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