Reko Diq alliance will bring biggest foreign investment, sustainable prosperity

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Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:GOLD) (TSX:ABX) – Barrick President and Chief Executive Mark Bristow on Tuesday said that Reko Diq copper-gold project, a partnership between the company, the Balochistan Provincial Government and Pakistani state-owned enterprises, would create substantial value for the province through multiple generations.

Speaking after his meeting here Tuesday with Balochistan chief minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, Bristow said that in the negotiations Barrick and the Government of Pakistan had worked to ensure that Balochistan will receive a substantial share of the benefits generated by Reko Diq.

“Balochistan’s shareholding in Reko Diq will be fully funded by its partners and the federal government, which means that the province will reap the dividends, royalties and other benefits of its 25% ownership without having to contribute financially to the construction and operation of the mine. It’s equally important that Balochistan and its people should see these benefits quickly.

Even before construction starts, once the legalization process has been completed, we will implement a range of social development programs, supported by an upfront commitment to the improvement of healthcare, education, vocational training, food security and the provision of potable water. Social contributions are currently estimated to amount to around $70 million over the construction period, including upfront commitments of up to $3 million in the first year following closing and up to $7 million in year two,” he said.

In addition, Reko Diq will advance royalties to the Government of Balochistan of up to $5 million in the first year following closing, up to $7.5 million in the second and up to $10 million per year thereafter until commercial production starts, subject to a cumulative $50 million maximum of advance payments.

Subject to the updated feasibility study, Reko Diq is envisaged as a conventional open pit and milling operation, producing a high-quality copper-gold concentrate. —NNI

It will be constructed in two phases, starting with a plant that will be able to process approximately 40 million tonnes of ore per annum which could be doubled in five years following first production from phase one. With its unique combination of large scale, low strip and good grade, Reko Diq will be a multi-generational mine with a life of at least 40 years.

During peak construction the project is expected to employ 7,500 people and once in production it will create 4,000 long-term jobs. Barrick’s policy of rioritizing local employment and suppliers will have a positive impact on the local economy.

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