BEIJING: Pakistan has confirmed a 400 percent increase in the export of copper products to China in the recent year.
According to a report published by China Economic Net, this huge rise in the export of copper and other copper-related products from the country has helped to boost local industry. Three year back exports of copper from Pakistan were of only 106 million dollars, however, In the year 2019, copper exports to China have risen to 550 million dollars. The current rise in exports is seen though the largest copper reserves of Pakistan "Reko Diq project" which is under dispute at the international court of justice. If the dispute settles down shortly then one of the biggest players in the copper industry of China, Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) that is mining in Saindak mines expects to take the export to $10 billion per year.It is to be noted that mining and processing of copper requires a high-end technology and the expertise of Chinese copper processing companies like MCC have played a very vital role to develop the Saindak copper mines from the year 1995 onwards.
Talking to CEN, Director of Administration Office Song Guozhao said that Saindak Copper-Gold Project is designed to produce and process 12,800 tons of copper ores per day (4.25 million tons per year); currently, the output of copper blister is about 13,000 tons annually.
“By the end of February 2020, the project has a total of 1,977 employees, 256 Chinese and 1,721 Pakistani, of which the number of local employees accounts for 87% of the total,” he mentioned.
He stated that as the Pakistani managerial and technical personnel continuously improve their capacity, the company will further, carry forward the process of localized administration.
Saindak Copper-Gold Project composes of three ore bodies, that is the South, the North and the East Ore Bodies (SOB, NOB & EOB). The MCC has been working in SOB and NOB, and the mineable resources in the two ore bodies are going to run out soon.
The Chinese and Pakistani sides are in close communication on its feasibility. Since the other two ore bodies are going to run out of resources soon, it is imperative to find supplementary resources so that the development of the project would be sustained, the employment of local people will be secured, and more continuous contributions will be made to local economy, Song said. Saindak is an open-pit mining project rather than underground mining, so there is no sinking problem in the mining area. We have been operating the project for so many years and we have a good knowledge and understanding of the country, especially the mining industry, cultural environment, religious practices in Balochistan. We also enjoy sound cooperation with federal and local governments and other partners in Pakistan. Given this, we are willing to expand our investment in the mining sector in Pakistan. We are interested in the development of the H4 and Reko-Diq, and we hope that the Pakistani government will conduct international tenders for these projects as soon as possible, Song added.
Talking with CEN, Commercial Counselor of Pakistan Embassy in China Badar u Zaman said that the Pakistani government is eager to increase the exports of copper to China. The commercial section of the embassy is putting huge efforts which have resulted in a 400 percent increase in copper exports in the last two years.
He further said that besides MCC, other Chinese companies would also be facilitated in Pakistan. In addition to Reko Diq and Saindak, Chitral region of Northern Pakistan is also very rich in copper reserves but unfortunately, a huge number of mines in that area are not producing due to lack of modern technology. If Chinese companies get Reko Dig project, Pakistan has the potential to export $10 billion of copper annually, which would be a breakthrough in the country's economy, Badar added.