Balochistan to get $32b in 47 years from Reqo Dik

The lawyer representing the Balochistan government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that the province would receive $32 billion in 47 years from the Reqo Dik project.

Salahuuddin Ahmed further told a five-judge larger bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial — hearing a presidential reference on the project — that 25% of the proceeds gained from the gold mine project belonged to the provincial government. Of this 25% share, 15% would be held by a holding and offshore company of Balochistan, he added.

Salahuuddin further told the court that the Balochistan government would receive 25% capital, 5% in royalty as well as facilities of corporate social responsibility and jobs. CJP Bandial inquired when the project would be completed. To this, the lawyer replied that 2.5 years would be spent on preparing the feasibility studies of the project.

Work on the Reko Diq project would be kicked off in the next five years after that, he added. The lawyer informed the court that companies from China, Japan and Russia also approached for the country for the Reko Diq projec. However, he added that these companies were not willing to pay the $9 billion fine imposed on Pakistan.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan inquired what was the case against Pakistan in the International Centre for Dispute Resolution and International Criminal Court. Salahuuddin replied that the International Center for Dispute Resolution had a case against the Pakistani government for breach of contract. In the International Criminal Court, he added, the Balochistan government faced a case for  violation of agreement.

The lawyer warned that If Pakistan did not sign an agreement by December 15, the affected company would take legal action against the country. Justice Yahya Afridi inquired about the lease of other minerals that would be extracted from Reqo Dik apart from gold and copper. The lawyer responded that the lease for all the minerals extracted from Reqo Dik apart from gold and copper was held by the Barrick Gold Corporation as well.

The CJP inquired asked whether or not the financial transactions involved in the Reko Diq agreement would be international in nature. The lawyer replied that the financial transactions for the project would be carried out through offshore companies. As time was running out, the hearing of the case was adjourned till Thursday (today).

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