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Print Print 2023-08-09

Govt of Pakistan’s equity in Reko Diq project: Barrick says ‘will not mind’ if PIF wants to buy out

  • Barrick will support Saudi Arabia’s wealth fund coming into the mine through Pakistan’s 25% equity stake, says CEO Mark Bristow
Published August 9, 2023

TORONTO: Barrick Gold Corp is open to bringing in Saudi Arabia’s wealth fund (Public Investment Fund or PIF) as one of its partners in Pakistan’s Reko Diq gold and copper mine, Barrick CEO Mark Bristow told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday.

He also dismissed a June media report that Barrick was in talks with fellow Canadian miner First Quantum Minerals on a possible acquisition as a “rumour”.

Barrick Gold owns a 50% stake in Pakistan’s Reko Diq mine, with the remaining 50% owned by the governments of Pakistan and the province of Balochistan.

Barrick considers the mine one of the world’s largest underdeveloped copper-gold areas.

Pakistan, Barrick Gold agree to pay share of Reko Diq in Pakistani rupees

Bristow said Barrick won’t be diluting its equity in the project but “will not mind” if Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) wants to buy out the equity of the Pakistan government.

“There is a strong relationship between Saudi and Pakistan and since we control the project we have the first right of refusal,” Bristow added.

He said that Barrick will support PIF coming into the mine through Pakistan’s 25% equity stake.

Pakistan has not publicly stated that it is considering selling.

Earlier this month Pakistan hosted officials from Saudi Arabia in a mining conference in its capital Islamabad where officials of Barrick was also present. Barrick and Saudi’s state-owned mining company Ma’aden jointly operate a copper project in Jeddah.

PIF has been looking to invest in copper projects across the world as part of its drive towards funding energy transition projects. Earlier this month, PIF agreed to acquire a 10% stake in Brazilian mining company Vale base metals business.

Barrick, the world’s No.2 gold producer, considers sovereign wealth funds from the Middle East as “serious”, long-term investors to whom the company can sell its long term vision of growing its copper and gold business.

Asked about the company’s interest in First Quantum Minerals, Bristow said Barrick will stick to growing its production organically and that its acquisition strategy would be “measured.”

“We have people suggesting us First Quantum… but our shareholders are gold bulls,” Bristow said. “So I don’t know where that rumour came from, it was definitely not us, but that certainly helped lift their shares up.”


Comments are closed.

Qasim Aug 09, 2023 08:16am
What! Pakistan wants to sell its stake to SA? Are they insane?
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Tulukan Mairandi Aug 09, 2023 08:37am
Why would their opinion be needed if Pakistan wants to sell its share to others?
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Johnny Walker Aug 09, 2023 11:52am
Time to sell some of the princesses.
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IH Aug 09, 2023 12:16pm
@Tulukan Mairandi, as a major equity holder it may be possible they have a first right of refusal i.e., if Pakistan or Balochistan Govt intends to sale its stake it should be offered to Barrick first and if they refused then only it can be offered to some other investor (if any).
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Anjum Fahim Aug 09, 2023 12:21pm
@Tulukan Mairandi, because they have the first right of refusal as they are controlling the project
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Fazeel Siddiqui (Overseas Pakistani) Aug 09, 2023 12:50pm
Remittance didn't have any real productive effect because they landed on land of authoritarian control, lawlessness and dishonesty at state level. So in turn finally now Pakistanis are showing mistrust on Pakistan by abandoning it like their powerful people do. State of Pakistan for 20 years exchanged $300b of Overseas Pakistanis FX remittances to PKR on forced 25-50% lower rate at SBP, defying market. That amounts to $4 to $5b per year loss ($20b loss aggregate in PMLN 13-18 only) to OPs just to make available cheap & discounted dollar for tax evader traders, importers & money launders. Isn't it state's pickpocketing technique of authoritarian rent seeking state of Pakistan? Govt makes further its taxes revenue on imports turnover. By giving huge loss to OPs Darknomics maintained dollar “under control” and prosperity through import buying power. No surprise why OPs are denied voting facility bc they are treated as machines only and their future doesn't matter to resident Pakistanis.
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Sainjee Aug 09, 2023 02:02pm
Pakistan's assets on sale! Without any say of people of Pakistan!
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