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December 7th, 2010, 09:26 AM
Another Reko Diq in North Waziristan
LAHORE: Nuclear scientist Dr Samar Mubarakmand has said copper and gold reservoirs are also located in North Waziristan. He revealed this while delivering his keynote address at the ninth convocation of the Government College University (GCU) here on Friday.
Dr Mubarakmand, who has recently been elected unopposed as president of the Old Ravians Union, said Pakistan was one of the richest countries in the world in terms of mineral reserves and there was a need for proper exploration of these reserves.
“If we take steps in the right way, Pakistan will become a developed rich state in next two decades,” he said.
According to the recent evaluation, he said, the copper and gold reservoirs in Balochistan were worth US $273 billion while a similar kind of reserves had also been discovered in North Waziristan.
Dr Mubarakmand said coal reserves were also available in powder form under water and Pakistan could produce 50,000 megawatt electricity and 100 million barrel diesel just through the gasification of these reserves.
He said the talented students had already carried out a successful project to make diesel from the coal gas at the laboratory level.
He said Pakistani students were competent enough to explore and utilise mineral reservoirs of the country. There was a need of thousands of mathematicians, chemical analysts, engineers and other experts for exploration of mineral reserves at commercial scale, he said. However, he regretted that Pakistan had a very small number of educational institutions of higher education that were producing quality manpower.
The scientist said out of 140 experts, who carried out nuclear explosions in 1998, as many as 60 were Old Ravians and their team leaders who pressed the button for explosions was also a Ravian.
He advised the students that the country could not wait more for quality leaders. “Now, the youth should lead and work for the progress of its country,” he said.
Criticizing the nationalization policy of 1970s, he said that it stalled the country’s progress.
Speaking on the occasion, GCU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Khalid Aftab said the absence of quality education was the real cause of the overall social decline in the country.
He said the poor quality education gave birth to general stagnation that over the time might produce unmanageable problems as was evident in the present society.
He said only a few educational institutions were imparting quality education to students, adding that higher education in Pakistan had a class bias against students of the low-income strata.
Later, Dr Mubarakmand presented medals and degrees to position-holders. The university awarded medals to its 22 best students for their outstanding performance in academic work and co-curricular activities, while doctorate degrees were conferred upon 31 scholars in various subjects. As many as 167 students were awarded M.Phil degrees.
December 10th, 2010, 10:01 AM
Reko Diq copper-gold project: TCC to make $3.3 billion initial investment RECORDER REPORT
ISLAMABAD (December 10, 2010) : Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) has informed the government that it would make initial investment of US $3.3 billion on the first ever large-scale copper-gold project at Reko Diq in Balochistan, having production capacity of 5.9 billion tones within 4-5 years.
Sources told Business Recorder here on Thursday that the total expected investment would be around $5 billion on the supporting infrastructure to make the project functional. The company would spend 300 to 400 million dollars annually on procurement of goods and services of which 45-50 percent would be spent locally.
According to the figures, the estimated annual production from the Reko Diq mine is 200,000 tons of copper and 250,000 ounces of gold. This copper and gold will be sold at international market prices quoted at London Metal Exchange. This will also activate the Gwadar port which up till now is under-utilised. The company had spent over one million dollars on a number of community investments' initiatives in education, health, skills development etc.
Details of the project revealed that TCC, a joint venture of Canadian Barrick Gold and Chillian Antofagasta, has completed the exploration of the deposit in Reko Diq and submitted detailed feasibility report to government of Balochistan last August. Reko Diq is situated 500 KM away from Quetta in north-west of Balochistan and 70 KM west of Naukundi town of Chaghi district, bordering Afghanistan and Iran.
When this project will go into production, government will earn 25 percent of profit in addition to royalty and taxes. While the other projects if they go into production will generate only royalties and taxes. Sources said that the TCC's investment in Reko Diq project, the first foreign investment, will prove as an engine for foreign investment in the region and will motivate foreign investors to come forward.
The data revealed that the estimated production of 22 billion pounds of copper and 13 million ounces of gold in form of payable metal over 56 years of mine life will need huge investment in infrastructure and a combination of expertise and technology to realise. Assuming the development of the project with international standards with FDI, the project would serve as a catalyst in attracting other investors in exploration and mining development.
Sources said that the TCC had overwhelming support of the local communities as more than 80 percent of its employees were from Balochistan. A detailed feasibility report has already been submitted to government of Balochistan in August last and provincial government would prefer exploration company (TCC) for mining.
In view TCC's risk investment of more than US $220 million on exploration, the company has been given lease for mining but also under the Balochistan Mineral Rules. Under the agreement reached between company and government of Balochistan, both Federal and Balochistan governments will have 52 percent of the free cash flow in the form of royalty, taxes and share.
December 10th, 2010, 10:04 AM
All operations at Reko Diq stopped
ISLAMABAD: The Balochistan government on Thursday halted all operations under 10 exploration and reconnaissance licences issued in Reko Diq gold mines in Chagai District as in Islamabad the country’s highest economic decision making forum, Ecnec, decided that no foreign company would be allowed to take away Pakistan’s natural resources being mined in Balochistan.
Balochistan Secretary of Mines and Minerals, Mushtaq Raisani, told our sources on Thursday he had ordered the commissioner Chagai to immediately stop all exploration operations as all the 10 exploration licences awarded by the government of Balochistan had already expired except the EL-5 where exploration work had already been completed and a feasibility report had been submitted.
Raisani said the licences were issued for a period of three years and no company got its licence renewed, so all the licences had expired and any activity on these lands would be illegal.
Besides the EL-5, which was a much smaller area given to a Canadian-Chilean company, three more licences for larger areas had also been issued. These included a Reconnaissance License No 7, which alone was bigger in size than El-5, El-6 and Rl-7 combined.
The decision of the Balochistan government has come as the Supreme Court of Pakistan is hearing a major case in which the entire issue of who has how much share in the natural resources of Pakistan is being judged.
In the other major development, the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Thursday approved the PC-1 of a project submitted by the Government of Balochistan to undertake the processing, smeltering and refining operations of Reko Diq gold and copper mines within the country.
The decision would eliminate the chances of any foreign company to be permitted to take away the rich minerals in a crude form to be processed and sold in the international market.
According to credible sources, top Pakistani scientist Dr Samar Mubarakmand argued before the Ecnec that Pakistani experts can undertake the processing of extracted ore and can run and operate the smelters for separating copper and gold from a concentrate, which will enable Pakistan to make the finished product indigenously and which will fetch very high price.
Officials present in this important Ecnec meeting confided to our sources that Ecnec members were convinced by Dr Samar Mubarakmand’s arguments that Pakistani scientists and experts could undertake the processing operations and this could fetch Balochistan and Pakistan big revenues which otherwise would go to foreign companies.
These sources said that Ecnec unanimously approved the PC-1 of the Government of Balochistan and now these operations will be undertaken by Dr Samar Mubarakmand’s team.
Credible sources told our sources that the approval came after some sections of the establishment told the political leadership that any attempt to sell national assets to foreigners would be resisted.
But in a surprise move the official press release issued by the Ministry of Finance did not announce the decision on Reko Diq, raising doubts whether the political leadership was still trying to play games with the immense natural wealth of the country.
December 17th, 2010, 01:11 PM
QUETTA: The Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) has submitted a counter proposal for handing over the Reko Diq contract, Balochistan government officials said on Wednesday.
It would give the provincial government a 25 per cent share in the income, besides giving it a five per cent royalty, officials told APP.
MCC also offered that it would construct roads, besides setting up a power plant at the mine site,” officials said. Officials said the Balochistan government could ink an agreement with the Chinese company if it promised transfer of technology, besides giving the provincial government a decision-making member in the board of directors.
Tethyan Copper Company recently completed a feasibility report in Reko Diq. It will ask for a mining licence after the feasibility study is approved by the provincial government. The area holds reserves of 2.2 billion tons of gold and copper.
Ahmad Rashid Ahmad
December 17th, 2010, 01:55 PM
* Project to generate annual income worth Rs 15.875 billion
* To create 917 job opportunities
Reko Diq Gold and Copper project worth Rs 8.812 billion is expected to be completed in the next four years and generate income to the tune of Rs 15.875 billion per annum ($185.25 million) with estimated production of 38,305 tonnes of copper, 42,618 ounces gold and other valuable metals.
Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) in its last meeting has approved this vital project to be executed by the Department of Mines and Minerals, Balochistan (Strategic Organisation). Reko Dik project having local component of Rs 5.209 billion and foreign exchange component of Rs 3.603 billion would create 917 job opportunities in the province.
Reko Diq is the fifth largest copper ore reserve in the world having 0.8 percent of copper content. Department of Mines and Minerals, Balochistan envisages creating a facility for processing of 15,000 tonnes cooper ore per day to produce copper metal, and other valuables such as gold, silver, molybdenum and sulphuric acid at Reko Diq. This facility will be for the production of copper and gold ingots only. A separate facility will be for the production of copper and gold ingots in value-added products such as sheets, pipes, and rods as per requirement.
It has been estimated that annual income from the project will be Rs 15.875 billion or equivalent to $185.25 million per year, the recurring cost of the project would be Rs 4.770 billion after completion in next four years.
The project would provide necessary infrastructure and give boost to the mineral sector by exploiting the mineral resources of the country. It will also help in achieving self-reliance in the production of copper, gold ingots and some other materials such as silver, molybdenum and sulphuric acid. The project would help improve livelihood of the people of Balochistan by providing direct employment to 917 persons and generating economic activity in the area. The plant and equipment required for the project would be designed and manufactured locally using expertise and engineering industrial base available in the country.
The sponsor of the project has confirmed the government about the management structure of the project and informed that provincial government is in a process of hiring services of a lawyer to deal with matters leading to the formation of a company as advised by the Central Development Working Party and they had also notified the board of governors recently, which shall exercise full financial and administrative powers to implement the project on fast track basis by maintaining transparency and efficiency.
According to the project document, keeping in view the local consumption of copper, which is estimated at around 100,000 tonnes per year, the sponsors had assured that they had not foreseen any marketing problem, however, they would hire professionals in due course of time in this regard. Secretary Mines and Minerals, Balochistan has asked the federal government to provide funding from federal Public Sector Development Programme or from the Balochistan package. It has been decided that the funding requirements for the project during 2010-11 and onwards be done by the ECNEC.
Ahmad Rashid Ahmad
September 6th, 2011, 10:35 PM
Reko Diq to get Balochistan government approval: Report
Reko Diq has been delayed due to permit issues and licensing disputes.
The Reko Diq copper mining project in Pakistan, which is jointly controlled by a Chilean and Canadian mining company, is likely to receive approval from the Balochistan government later in September.
According to a report published in a Santiago-based newspaper “Diario Financiero” on Tuesday, the Balochistan government was most likely to give a go ahead for the project later this month.
Reko Diq has been delayed due to permit issues and licensing disputes. The London-listed Antofagasta and Barrick, each hold a 37.5% percent stake in the project, while the Pakistani government owns the remaining 25 percent, under the banner of a joint venture called Tethyan Copper Company (TCC).
TCC is based in Islamabad that is a joint venture between the Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold and the Chilean mining company Antofagasta, that had applied for a mining licence in February 2011 after having found a substantial amount of minerals at its exploration site.
A company spokesman at Antofagasta, however, said that government officials in Balochistan, haven’t shown any signs they are ready to decide on the project.
The two companies which control the $3.3 billion project say Reko Diq can produce 190,000 metric tons of copper and 270,000 troy ounces of gold a year during the the first five years of operation.
Earlier it was reported that the standoff between the (TCC) and the Balochistan government may be headed towards a conclusion as a Chinese firm had offered to set up a smelting and refining facility in Pakistan, something that Quetta wanted and TCC had repeatedly said it was not able to do.
The Chinese mining giant Jinchuan Group had been lobbying the government to secure a deal to set up a multi-billion dollar smelting and refining facility near the Reko Diq mines to allow for the raw ores to be refined within Pakistan since the Balochistan government had expressed its discomfort with allowing TCC to export raw ores from the province.
TCC, for its part, said that setting up such facilities next to their plant would raise their investment costs too high. The deal became a political lightening rod after politicians in Quetta began to criticise TCC for offering what they said was a bad deal.
“The multi-billion dollar project may now be split in two: the mining part may go to TCC, if the Balochistan government decides in its favour, and Jinchuan may be hired for the smelting and refining part,” said one source familiar with the situation.
TCC sources said that the company had no objection if the government hired any other party for setting up smelting and refining facilities at Rekodiq.
Under the Balochistan Mining Rules, the company claims that is entitled to 100% ownership of the mining rights based on the fact that it made the investment to discover the mineral deposits. TCC has offered the Balochistan government a 25% share in the project. Quetta was mulling its decision on the matter after the Supreme Court refused to nullify TCC’s claims.
“The Supreme Court has given 120 days to the Balochistan government to decide the fate of project with TCC keeping in view rules and regulations,” sources said. “If Quetta fails to decide within that time, the case will reopen in the Supreme Court.”
Ahmad Rashid Ahmad
November 17th, 2011, 03:14 PM
Reko Diq: Balochistan government refuses to grant license to Tethyan Copper
Official says TTC can appeal in court against decision, Balochistan govt reserves right to refuse mining license.
The Balochistan Mining Committee (BMC) has refused to grant a mining license to Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) for the Reko Diq project under Balochistan Mines Rule 2002.
The BMC, headed by director general Mines and Mineral Department Balochistan, was formed to examine the feasibility report of TCC on the Reko Diq project.
A senior official told The Express Tribune that the Advocate General of Balochistan Amanullah Kanrani will submit a report provided by the BMC to the Supreme Court today (Wednesday). The report says that the feasibility report provided by TCC was incomplete.
When the AG was approached by The Express Tribune, he confirmed that he had received the Balochistan government decision and will submit it to the supreme court. The court had earlier sought an explanation on details of the agreements between the Balochistan government and TCC.
TCC maintained that the feasibility report was completed and submitted to the Balochistan government earlier in August 2010 under an existing agreement between TCC and the government, the Chagai Hills Exploration Joint Venture Agreement (CHEJVA).
When TCC submitted the report, Balochistan was entitled as a 25% equity partner in the project, enabling it to profit additionally from the mine development and operations over and above the regular royalty and taxation payments. But later, on November 24 2010, the government of Balochistan had decided not to become a participant in the project.
Earlier, TCC had filed a notice of dispute (NoD) to seek more time to address the Balochistan government’s concern over granting the mining license.
According to a Balochistan government official, TTC can appeal in the court against the decision; however, the Balochistan government reserved the right to refuse to grant mining license and had decided that we would not grant it.
TCC, a joint venture between Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold and the Chilean mining company Antofagasta, had earlier applied for a mining licence in February 2011 after finding that a substantial amount of minerals is present at Reko Diq.
February 17th, 2012, 04:45 PM
Fool's Gold? Pakistan mine rift exposes investor risk
I had no idea some Chile+Canada comapny had invested $220 m in the recent years. Anyway, they've been thrown out now