ECC approves early start of Reko Diq Project

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The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Sunday approved two agenda items relating to Reko Diq Project.

Federal Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar chaired a meeting of the ECC and approved two important agenda items related to Reko Diq Project thus paving the way for the early start of the Reko Diq project, Ministry of Finance Tweeted.

Federal Ministry of Finance has said that the ECC approved sooner beginning of work on the Reko Diq project.

According to a press statement issued after the meeting, the ECC considered and approved two important agenda items related to Reko Diq project, thus paving the way for early start of the Reko Diq Project.

Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) submitted a summary on accrued interest with respect to the amount held in an escrow account in connection with the Reko Diq Project dispute settlement.

It was presented that government of Pakistan (GoP) and Provincial Government of Baluchistan (GoB) entered into an out-of-court dispute settlement with M/s Tethyan Copper Company Pvt Limited- a consortium of Barrick Gold Corporation of Canada and M/s Antofagasta PLC of Chile, in respect of Reko Diq Copper-Gold Project in Chaghai district of Baluchistan. As per settlement terms, Government of Pakistan has to clear liabilities to Antofagasta PLC.

In the light of the terms of agreed settlement, the ECC allowed Finance Division to direct GHPL (for its own as well as GoB’s share), OGDCL and PPL to deposit the aggregate amount of interest to the sum of US$ 22,718,173/- in the escrow account from March 31, 2022 to December 15, 2022.

The ECC further allowed Finance Division to arrange the interest payable for GoB’s share amounting to US$ 8,519,314 /- from the loan of Rs. 65 billion already raised by the GHPL with the GoP guarantee. Further, the ECC allowed the concerned Divisions of GoP and the SOEs to act in such a manner to ensure that the deposited amount alongwith interest deposited by the SOEs in the escrow account to form part of the consideration for share purchase of Reko Diq Mining Company Limited.

The ECC also considered and approved a proposal of Finance Division through a summary on funding plan of Government of Pakistan for share of Government of Baluchistan in Reko Diq Project.

As per proposal, overall funding commitment of US$ 717 million over the period of 6 years by GoP in respect of GoB SPV Project Capital Commitment to be provided by the Government of Pakistan.