As part of the new Reko Diq agreement, the Balochistan government has received the first $3 million payment from theBarrick Gold Corporation, the company said Tuesday.
In the wake of the legal process's completion, the company's statement said, the Balochistan government and Barrick agreed on a timetable for the disbursement of the committed funds to the province.
Ali E Rind, Reko Diq Pakistan's country manager, gave the $3 million cheque to Secretary Mines and Minerals Development Department Balochistan, Saidal Khan Luni, the press release read.
Barrick said that the new Reko Diq agreement ensures that benefits from the project start accruing to the people of Balochistan well before the mine goes into production through advanced royalties and social development funds.
It added that the project, during peak construction, is expected to employ approximately 7,500 people, and will create around 4,000 long-term jobs once in production.
The company plans to finish the Reko Diq feasibility study update by the end of 2024, with 2028 targeted for the first production, the press release stated.
Barrick said Reko Diq is envisaged as a conventional open pit and milling operation, producing a high-quality copper-gold concentrate. It will be constructed in two phases, starting with a plant that would process approximately 40 million tonnes of ore per annum which could double in five years following the first production from phase one. With its unique combination of large scale, low strip and a good grade, Reko Diq will be a multi-generational mine with a life of at least 40 years, the statement concluded.
It should be noted that Reko Diq will be operated by Barrick, which owns 50% of the project, with Balochistan holding 25% and three Pakistani state-owned enterprises sharing the remaining 25%.
“The shareholding structure is in line with Barrick’s policy of benefit-sharing partnerships with its host countries,” said the statement.