The federal and Balochistan governments and two international firms — Antofagasta PLC and Barrick Gold Corporation — have reached an agreement in principle on a framework to reconstitute the Reko Diq project, and a pathway for Antofagasta to exit the project. Through the agreement, government has claimed to have saved the country from $11 billion penalty in Reko Diq case.
The World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has granted a stay on the enforcement of penalty of $6 billion imposed on Pakistan for its decision to deny a mining lease for the Reko Diq project. The office of the attorney general for Pakistan in a statement described the development as a success for the country and its legal team.
Reko Diq mines, known for their enormous reserves of gold and copper are believed to have the world’s fifth largest gold deposit in them. The news of the treasures this mine holds is not new, as gold diggers have been attempting to explore it since 1992. It was not until 2000, that the Tethyan Copper Company made its way into Pakistani market.
The International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has announced a massive $5.976 billion (Rs944.21 billion) award against Pakistan in the Reko Diq case, which is one of biggest in ICSID history. ICSID awarded a $4.08 billion penalty and $1.87 billion in interest. However, Pakistan has decided to challenge the award “very soon” by filing a revision application.