Islamabad: The federal government has decided to issue a new license for the mining rights of the Reko Diq mines in Balochistan, news sources reported on November 11.
In response to the Supreme Court reference, the federal government stated that it has chosen to renew licence conditions with Barrick Gold and that mining rights would be granted to the company when a tender notice is floated in the international market. Attorney General (AG) Amir Rehman, representing the federal government, stated that the licence terms had been modified in response to the Supreme Court’s orders to vacate the earlier deal with Barrick Gold because it was not transparent and required additional revisions. He stated that new licencing terms had increased the mining royalty to 5% from 2% earlier.
Moreover, the problem of the almost USD 10 billion penalty imposed on Pakistan by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) will be resolved with the signing of the USD 900 million payment deal with the Enterofista firm. It is worth noting that the Pakistani government inked a mining agreement in 2021 with the Barrick Gold mining corporation on a 50% partnership, with revenues split evenly between the federal and Balochistan governments. The arrangement was struck to avoid a USD 10 billion penalty for violating Pakistan’s mining agreement with Tethyan Copper Company Pty Limited.