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Reko Diq project to change Balochistan’s fate: Barrick Gold’s chief

Mark Bristow, CEO of Barrick Gold Co. — Radio Pakistan/File   

ISLAMABAD: Barrick Gold Corporation President and Chief Executive Mark Bristow has said that the Reko Diq project will prove to be “revolutionary” for Balochistan as it would change the province’s fate by reshaping the local economy.

The multibillion-dollar project is capable of producing 200,000 tonnes of copper and 250,000 ounces of gold a year for more than half a century, from the world’s largest underdeveloped copper-gold areas.

In an interview with a private news channel, he stated that an estimated $10 billion would be invested during next eight to nine years, which would boost the mining industry and the local economy.

He also underscored the company’s commitment to sustainable development, job creation and community empowerment.

Bristow said that the project is on track and the teams are working really well. “It is a pioneering project where we are opening a new frontier on mining where we are delivering whats should have been delivered in Balochistan long time ago,”

Bristow, in a meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif last week, had said that the feasibility study of the multibillion-dollar Reko Diq gold and copper mining project would be completed by the end of 2024.

Talking to the delegation led by Bristow, the premier had said the gold and copper mining project would prove to be a game changer for not only the development of Balochistan but the entire region.

He had said the project would usher in a new era of development of the province and prosperity of the people. “Plans will be chalked out regarding communication infrastructure, especially railway lines to take full advantage of the mineral potential of Balochistan.”

The PM was told that local and Balochistan domicile holders are being given priority in jobs on the project. It was said that the company, under corporate social responsibility, has established three schools near the Reko Diq.

So far, one hundred people, including women, have been imparted vocational and technical training by the gold mining company.

It is pertinent to mention here that the company plans to finish the feasibility study update by the end of 2024, with 2028 targeted for first production from the giant copper-gold mine in Balochistan.

The project was signed in March 2022 with the prospect of creating 8,000 new jobs for the people of Pakistan, especially the host province.

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