Barrick Gold seeks Supreme Court endorsement for Reko Diq deal

ISLAMABAD: The Canadian mining group, Barrick Gold Corporation, has urged the government of Pakistan to get the endorsement of the Supreme Court for the Reko Diq deal. The company is seeking a long-term partnership. President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Barrick Gold, Mark Bristow, said that negotiation would take place between the present government and the company.

He added that they wanted a legal framework for the partnership and transparent execution of the project through Supreme Court support.

Previously, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government, Barrick Gold, and a few foreign stakeholders went through a legal battle to resolve the issue. The developmental project for the largest underdeveloped copper-gold mine has been on halt since 2011.

However, the PTI-led government and Reko Diq settled the issue out of court and formed a new agreement. Under the agreement, Barrick Gold has become a 50 per cent partner, and 25 per cent would be given to the Balochistan government. Oil & Gas Development Limited (OGDCL) and Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) will receive the remaining 25 per cent.

Mark Bristow said that there would be a $10 billion investment for the Reko Diq project in two phases: $7 billion in the first stage, and $3 billion in the second step. Finance Minister Miftah Ismail and Bristow had a meeting to discuss the future of the project. Bristow is optimistic that local citizens will get 100 per cent jobs through the endeavour.

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