Negotiations underway for settlement of Reko Diq

The incumbent government has started negotiations with the Canadian firm M/s Barrick Gold PLC Canada to resolve the dispute of Reko Diq.

On July 17, 2019, a Tribunal of the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (1CSID) found Pakistan to have violated the Pakistan-Australia Bilateral Investment Treaty and awarded around $6billion plus interest against Pakistan to Tethyan Copper Company Pty Limited (TCC). The tribunal had found that Pakistan unlawfully denied the TCC a lease to mine copper and gold deposits at the Reko Diq Mine, located in Chagai district of Balochistan.

TCC is jointly owned by Barrick Gold PLC of Canada (Barrick) and Antofagasta PLC of Chile. Both the controlling companies have different views about how to proceed further. According to sources Barrick wishes to return to the Reko Diq project while Antofagasta is seeking a pure financial settlement of their share of the Award.

As of now both the companies are engaged with Pakistan separately. Currently, representatives from the Government of Pakistan and Government of Balochistan are in negotiations with representatives from Barrick on the legal, commercial, technical and operational (mining), security and administrative matters for their return to the project. The current round of negotiation will end on 3rd Dec 2021 in Islamabad