Pakistan Can Mine Reko Diq Itself: Scientist Tells SC

January 13, 2011

Founding chairman of National Engineering and Scientific Commission, Dr Samar Mubarikmund, on Thursday said that it is in Pakistan’s national interest to take up the Reko Diq Project on its own as the proceeds will go a long way in improving the country’s economic situation. He said Pakistan has the capacity and capability to mine Reko Diq for minerals and metals.

Mubarikmund was briefing the court about the Reko Diq project in the Supreme Court (SC). The court asked the federal and Balochistan government to furnish details of the contested mining and excavation agreement in the Reko Diq case. A three member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry heard the case. The hearing has been adjourned till January 17. He said that this case will be heard on a daily basis and the verdict reached before Feburary 11.

In earlier court hearings, Mubarikmund had stated that Pakistan will earn $2 billion a year if it were to mine and refine gold and bronze from Reko Diq, whereas if a foreign company is awarded the contract, it will only get $160 million in royalties.

A foreign company, Tethyan Copper Company (TCC), has been awarded the lease of an area spreading over 400 square kilometres for mining. The company has discovered reserves  worth $104 billion to-date in an area of six to seven square kilometres. If it were to exploit all the reserves, they would yield precious metals worth trillions of dollars.


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