Canada-based Barrick Gold has paid its first $3-million to the Balochistan provincial government as part of a new partnership to develop the Reko Diq mine, in Pakistan.
After the signing of definitive agreements and completion of legal processes last month, Barrick and the government of Balochistan recently agreed on a timetable for the disbursement of committed funds to the province.
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 advance royalties and social development funds.
The company plans to finish the Reko Diq feasibility study update by the end of 2024, with 2028 targeted for first production.
Subject to the updated feasibility study, Reko Diq is envisaged as a conventional openpit and milling operation, producing a high-quality copper/gold concentrate. It will be constructed in two phases, starting with a plant that will be able to process approximately 40-million tonnes a year of ore, which could be doubled in five years following first production from Phase 1.
With its unique combination of large scale, low strip and good grade, Reko Diq will be a multi-generational mine with a life of at least 40 years.
During peak construction the project is expected to employ about 7 500 people and once in production it will create about 4 000 long-term jobs.
Barrick will prioritise local employment and suppliers will have a positive impact on the local economy. The miner is also working to set up community development committees to identify priority projects focused on food security, environmental management and access to education, healthcare and potable water.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter
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