International experts have appraised the share price of the Reko Diq gold and copper mine as Pakistan considers selling its stake to Saudi Arabia in this significant project.
Dr. Jahanzeb Khan, the Prime Minister’s advisor on the Special Investment Council (SIFC), announced that share prices are estimated between $0.87 and $1. The government aims to retain majority ownership even after the potential sale to Saudi Arabia.
Following the statement by caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar about reaching a deal with Saudi Arabia by December 2023, Dr. Khan confirmed the ongoing negotiations. The Reko Diq project in Balochistan is one of the world’s largest gold and copper mines. Kakar expressed optimism about Saudi participation, emphasizing the government’s encouragement to invest in this venture.
Stakeholders and the Future of the Reko Diq Mine
The Reko Diq project is currently shared between the Canadian company Barrick Gold Corporation, which owns 50%, and various Pakistani governmental entities holding a 25% share. The remaining 25% belongs to Balochistan.
Barrick Gold CEO Mark Bristow noted that while Barrick’s stake is not for sale, they are open to Saudi Arabia purchasing Pakistan’s equity. This would result in Pakistan losing its equal shareholding with Barrick Gold. The Reko Diq mine, valued at over $7 billion, is expected to produce significant amounts of copper and gold annually for over fifty years.
The potential deal with Saudi Arabia aligns with the country’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) strategy to invest in global copper projects as part of its focus on energy transition projects. In August, Saudi officials attended Pakistan’s inaugural mining conference in Islamabad, signalling the growing interest of Saudi Arabia in the mining sector, including a joint copper project with Barrick in Jeddah. The upcoming months will be crucial as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia work towards finalizing the agreement on the Reko Diq project.