After amicably resolving disputes with Pakistan, Barrick Gold Corporation’s visiting Chief Executive Mark Bristow stated that the company plans to invest approximately $7 billion in Riko Diq mines for gold and copper development in two phases.
The company has requested legal protection from parliament and a review by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, and the framework agreement will be finalized with Pakistani authorities once all outstanding legal issues have been resolved.
“The Barrick Gold Corporation, Pakistan’s State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), and the Balochistan government will each own 50 percent of the company.” In total, $4 billion will be invested in phase 1 and $3 billion in phase 2. Production will begin in fiscal year 2027-28. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) will provide risk insurance to ensure the smooth execution of multibillion-dollar projects,” said Barrick Gold Corporation’s visiting President and CEO Mark Bristow during a news conference Monday.
He stated that a 40-year perspective necessitates stability, and that in the face of changing political realities, they require legal protection because they are dealing with the state, not any specific political individual. Moving forward requires proper agreement.
He stated that security is a significant challenge, but they are familiar with working in other parts of the world. The people of the area and Balochistan will be our initial stakeholders because the company will provide them with numerous opportunities.
He stated that feasibility studies were being conducted, but it was estimated that Reko Diq could produce 200,000 billion pounds of copper per year and 400,000 tons of gold. He stated that they expected pending legal requirements, such as a review from Pakistan’s Supreme Court, to be met soon. He stated unequivocally that there has been no significant disagreement between the two parties on any issue.
He stated that the company would hire 7,500 Pakistanis and Baloch people during the construction phase and 4,000 workers during the operation phase. He stated that there was a difference this time because the litigation had previously occurred, but when he took over the company in 2019, he asked the Pakistani authorities to resolve the issue in a constructive manner where both parties would benefit. The Pakistani share is now at 50%, and the Balochistan government will begin receiving royalties in the form of $5 million in the first year, $7.5 million in the second year, and $10 million per year until the project is completed. He stated that the project would be co-financed by the IFC and Export-Import Banks (EXIM).