A group of Pakistan’s top businessmen is reportedly interested in acquiring copper and gold mines in Balochistan.
According to the reports, the Balochistan government has already held a meeting with four different companies/conglomerates. The companies have expressed willingness to invest up to $1 billion to acquire and develop the mines. However, to acquire the mines, the companies will have to participate in a bidding process.
The four interested groups are Lucky Cement Ltd., Arif Habib Group, Fatima Group, and Liberty Power Tech Ltd. The copper/gold mines are located in Reko Diq, Balochistan.
Previously, the license to develop gold and copper mines at Reko Diq was held by Barrick Gold Corp. and Antofagasta Plc. However, the former Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhary revoked the license in 2011.
Barrick Gold Corp. and Antofagasta Plc moved against the Pakistan government, taking their case to the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). In July, ICSID declared its verdict imposing a fine of $5.8 billion on Pakistan.
Reko Diq, a small town in Chagai, Balochistan, has the biggest gold and copper deposits in Pakistan. Once fully developed, 250,000 ounces of gold and 200,000 tons of copper can be extracted from the mines each year for the next 50 years.