Reqo Diq mining – Balochistan govt presenting record of deals in SC today | Pakistan Today

Reqo Diq mining – Balochistan govt presenting record of deals in SC today

ISLAMABAD – Complete record of Reko Diq deals with the foreign exploration and mining companies will be presented by the Balochistan government before the Supreme Court today (Monday).
Advocate General Balochistan Salahuddin Mengal will present the record before a four-member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Muhammad Sair Ali, Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday.
The bench is hearing petitions against leasing of Reko Diq gold and copper mines in Balochistan worth over $260 billion to foreign exploration and mining companies by the provincial and federal governments. Earlier, the court was informed that the provincial government had issued 10 licenses to the foreign companies for exploration of natural reserves at Reko Diq area, whereas eight licenses were surrendered in 1998.
The first license was issued in 1995 with the approval of then Balochistan governor. The court was also informed that BHP Company existed in Pakistan two years before getting the Reko Diq contract in 1995. The company had started its work on Reko Diq before establishment of Balochistan Development Authority, obtaining 5000 samples from the area before 1993 which was on the record.
According to a report submitted before the court by advocate general Balochistan about the details of the prospecting and exploring licenses to BHP/TCC, Balochistan Development Authority with the approval of Balochistan government signed a joint venture agreement (CHEJVA) with the BHP Mineral of Australia for the exploration of gold and associated minerals in Chaghi district of Balochistan on July 29, 1995.
After implementation of National Mineral Policy and enactment of Balochistan Mineral Rules, 2002, exploration license was granted to the joint venture for the said area replacing Prospecting License of Reko Diq. On June 28, 2000, BHP brought in an Australian Company Mincor Resources N.L/Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) to replace BHP in the CHEJVA on certain terms and conditions.
Antofagasta of Chile and Barrick Gold Corporation of Canada, purchased 100 percent shares offered by Tethyan’s shareholders. TCC share holders were benefited and HHPM extracted about US $60 million from the new buyers and Balochistan government had got no benefit from the said profit. TCC has now submitted feasibility study report to the Balochistan government for consideration.

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