Gwadar: The Balochistan Chief Minister (CM) Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo on Sunday (March 27) said that a Saudi Arabian firm would set up a mineral refinery in Gwadar, news sources reported. The refinery will assess the quality of the minerals extracted from the Reko Diq mineral extracted from the exploration site.
Reportedly, in an interview with media, CM Bizenjo stated that the government had signed a new agreement for the gold and copper exploration in Reko Diq with Canadian firm Barrick Gold, saving billions in fines. The new deal will provide more benefits to the provincial government since it will receive a 25% share of the earnings without spending a significant amount of money on the project.
Furthermore, the company would invest PKR 40 billion in local infrastructure development. He also stated that the government has leased Barrick Gold 100 square kilometres of land for 100 years of exploration. At the same time, the firm will be responsible for commencing the project within three years of signing the contract. In case of the failure to abide by the time frame, the deal will be cancelled. He also said that the government would also pursue other companies to explore the minerals of the province in addition to the present company. He said this would be an added advantage for the people of Balochistan.
It is vital to remember that the federal and provincial government has struck a deal with a Canadian firm to explore copper and gold in Reko Diq. The USD 10 billion worth deal has cancelled the USD 11 billion fine, and the federal and provincial governments will get a 25% share each from the profits of the projects. In addition, the provincial government will also get the royalties taxes.