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Federal govt to bear all expenses of Reko Diq development: PM

PM Imran Khan says this will help usher in an era of prosperity for the people and province of Balochistan
file photo
file photo

Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced that the federal government would bear all financial burden for the development of Reko Diq in Balochistan.

“In line with my government’s vision for uplift of smaller provinces, I have decided our federal government will bear all financial burden for Reko Diq and its development on behalf of Government of Balochistan,” the PM tweeted.

He added that this will help usher in an era of prosperity for the people and province of Balochistan.

Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo hailed the announcement and termed it a ‘historic decision’ for his province.

“We are grateful to the PM. It is a historic decision for the people of Balochistan, which will usher in peace and prosperity,” he said.

It may be mentioned that Reko Diq has one of the world's biggest untapped deposits of copper and gold.

Back in May, a local consortium, National Resources Private Limited, has made a proposal to develop a copper and gold mine in Balochistan after a court decision blocked the mine's development by a joint venture between Chile's Antofagasta and Canada's Barrick Gold.

Supreme Court of Pakistan blocked the joint venture, Tethyan Copper, in 2013 from developing Reko Diq following a court case over how the contract had been awarded.

In 2019, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) had announced a huge award of $5.976 billion against Pakistan in the Reko Diq case.

The management of the Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) had claimed $11.43bn in damages from Pakistan. The company had filed claims for international arbitration before the ICSID in 2012.

Earlier this month, Business Recorder reported that the Government of Pakistan and M/s Barrick Gold PLC Canada are said to have started negotiations to settle the dispute on Reko Diq as M/s Antofagasta of Chile is seeking financial settlement of their share in the award of $6 billion.


*This was first published in Business Recorder on December 30, 2021.*

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