Barrick Gold Corporation president and CEO Mark Bristow announced Monday that the company will complete the Reko Diq feasibility study update by 2024 and begin production from the massive Balochistan copper-gold mine in 2028.
Last month’s legal proceedings and definitive transaction agreements prompted the CEO’s announcement.
Barrick, Balochistan, and three Pakistani state-owned firms will operate Reko Diq, which Barrick owns 50% of.
“2028 is anticipated for the first production from the big copper and gold mine in Balochistan province,” he said.
Barrick Gold will finish in two phases. First, it will restart the feasibility study using legal, financial, and environmental documentation.
The CEO remembered the 2013 feasibility study with previous partners.
“We evaluated project resources, which are reliable, and the essential thing to accomplish is to finalize the geotechnical work surrounding the deposits,” he said. We must keep investing. One rule.”
Power, water, and infrastructure also help the initial optimal production stage. In addition, social and environmental baseline studies will be done.
Environmental data abounds. He stressed that we wish to update and validate the data according to international standards.
The CEO said construction would take three years, commencing in 2025 and starting production in 2028.
“Copper is promising a global transition to renewable energy, so we need a lot of copper, which is the base of all electronics,” he said. Industry and renewable resources need copper. Copper is essential for city development.”
The firm CEO noted that Imran Khan’s government signed an agreement and Sharif’s administration delivered and signed a framework agreement, which “is a wonderful thing.”
Balochistan is a key project stakeholder. Barrick Gold has re-engaged with Tanzanian authorities in a 50-50 cooperation.
Bristow expressed hope that the Reko Diq project would benefit everyone and asked Balochistan leadership to visit their African businesses.
He boasted that all stakeholders had reached agreements for the first time. We made the agreements public at the Supreme Court.
The CEO stated top financial institutions would finance the $7 billion project.
The first phase requires $4 billion, and the second $3 billion. 50% will be equity and 50% loan.
The project received a 15-year tax exemption from Pakistan. Bristow claimed they would pay Balochistan royalty and invest in local water and education facilities.
Reko Diq will be run by Barrick Gold, which owns 50% of the project, Balochistan, and three Pakistani state-owned firms. Barrick’s shareholding structure supports its benefit-sharing collaborations with host countries.
Bristow and Barrick’s executives met with Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo and other provincial leaders in Quetta during a three-day project review.
He informed them of the mine’s tremendous social and economic development prospects over its 40-year lifespan.
Bristow and Balochistan’s chief minister signed a memorandum of the agreement after the meeting, setting a timeline for the provinces’ advance royalty and social development funding.
It will benefit Balochistan before the mine starts production. The arrangement requires a $3 million upfront payment this month.
Barrick is creating community development committees to prioritize food security, environmental management, education, healthcare, and potable water initiatives.