The governments of Pakistan and Balochistan, as well as Barrick Gold Corporation, have inked a $8 billion landmark agreement on the Reko Diq project after the Supreme Court (SC) deemed the deal legitimate.
The $8 billion landmark agreement was reportedly signed by members of Reko Diq Gold Corporation, the federal government, and the Balochistan government.
The Balochistan government stated in a statement that it was one of the largest international investments in Pakistan’s history. Following the conclusion of the deal, the International Court’s $6.5 billion fine against Pakistan has been reversed.
The Reko Diq deal is effective from the 16th of December, 2022.
Barrick Gold Corporation said in a statement that the reconstitution of the Reko Diq project was complete.
Reko Diq, one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper-gold deposits, is owned 50 percent by Barrick, 25 percent by three federal state-owned firms, 15 percent by the Province of Balochistan on a fully funded basis, and 10 percent on a free carried basis.
Mark Bristow, president and CEO of Barrick, stated that the completion of the legal processes was a crucial step in advancing the development of Reko Diq into a world-class, long-life mine that would significantly expand the company’s strategically significant copper portfolio and benefit its Pakistani stakeholders for generations.
“Reko Diq will be a significant contributor to Pakistan’s economy, which is anticipated to have a transformative effect on the underdeveloped Balochistan province, where the mine will also create jobs, promote the growth of a regional economy, and invest in development programmes,” the statement continued.
During peak construction, the project is anticipated to employ 7,500 people, and after production begins, it will provide approximately 4,000 permanent positions. As everywhere in the group, Barrick prioritises the hiring of locals and nationals of the host country.
The federal administration and its allies, notably Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F), Balochistan National Party Mengal (BNP-M), and National Party (Bizenjo), broke the impasse regarding the Reko Diq legislation the day before.
The team of federal ministers Ayaz Sadiq and Azam Nazeer Tarar representing Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was successful in appeasing the ally parties JUI-F, BNP-M, and NP about the Reko Diq project law.
It is crucial to note that Pakistan’s Supreme Court (SC) declared on December 9 that a new agreement on the Reko Diq gold and copper mining project in Balochistan is valid.
Reko Diq is among the largest undeveloped copper-gold mines in the world. The project is being resumed after being suspended since 2011.
On the suggestion of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, President Arif Alvi sent a referral under Article 186 of the Pakistani Constitution regarding the Reko Diq Project to the apex court.
The Supreme Court stated in its judgement that international specialists assisted the court and that the Reko Diq agreement does not contradict the Supreme Court’s 2013 decree. The federal and Balochistan governments reached the arrangement in accordance with expert opinion, and there is nothing unlawful about it.