Saindak Copper-Gold Project: Govt moves to transfer ownership to Balochistan

Published: October 27, 2013

The province asks the Centre to waive its profit share as a goodwill gesture. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has sent a summary to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif seeking transfer of ownership of Saindak Copper-Gold Project (SCGP) from the federal government to the Balochistan government.

The summary for transfer of the project ownership has been sent on the request of Balochistan government. The province has requested the federal government to waive off its investment as a goodwill gesture to strengthen relation between federation and the province, according to a document available with The Express Tribune. 

The federal government has invested a huge amount in the SCGP. However, the province is not in a position to pay the outstanding amount of around Rs29 billion and has asked the federation to waive it off.

When contacted, Petroleum and Natural Resources Federal Secretary Tariq Saeed confirmed the development and said the ministry had sent the summary to the finance division and the Prime Minister Secretariat and was awaiting their approval.

“The proposal has been made on the request of the provincial government, which wants to have the ownership of the mining project,” he added.

The sale value of the copper blister from project has been $1429.34 million during 2003 to 2013. In 2003, only two consignment of shipment were extracted and sold, which reached to 25 consignments of shipments in 2013.

Saindak Copper-Gold Mine is located near Saindak town in Chagai District of Balochistan. The discovery of copper deposits at Saindak was made in the 1970s in collaboration with a Chinese engineering firm. The SCGP was set up by Saindak Metals Ltd, a company fully owned by the government of Pakistan.

After construction of infrastructure and trial-run, the project was to be operated by Saindak Metals Ltd. The federal government was to provide funding for operations of the mine through Saindak Metals. Proceeds from the mine were then to be split between the provincial government and the federal government of Pakistan.

However, the Rs 17 billion required to start operations were not received due to political wrangling and bureaucratic delays. As a result, after the 1995 trial run, the project faltered for a number of years. In 2002, the federal government invited foreign investors to provide funding for the project. The Pakistan government awarded the mining project to the Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) Ltd under a 10-year lease.

Pakistan and China signed a formal contract worth $350 million for development of Saindak Copper-Gold mine. As per the lease agreement 50% of revenues from the mine go to the MCC, 48% go to the government of Pakistan, while 2% go to the government of Balochistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 27th, 2013.

Reader Comments (10)

  • Noble Tufail
    Oct 27, 2013 - 11:50AM

    A very very good gesture by the federal government if they seriously do it. Long Live Pakistan.

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  • M. Emad
    Oct 27, 2013 - 3:09PM

    Despite Saindak Copper-Gold Project (SCGP) so called ‘ownership transfer’ to Balochistan province, ultimate beneficiary would be China and ultimate looser is the people of Balochistan. Federal (Punjab / Army) government’s inept handling of the project from beginning is responsible for this.

    Balochi youths, in hundreds, are still ‘disappeared’ and only their dead body ‘appear’. Saindak Gold money would be spend for the funerals of these ‘missing’ youths. Who is going to enjoy the money ?

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  • usman786
    Oct 27, 2013 - 5:14PM

    @M. Emad: ask your tribal leaders, how they are spending royalty of all projects. why donot they share with poor tribemen

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  • Ali
    Oct 27, 2013 - 5:23PM

    @M. Emad:
    It’s the Pak Army which is now rescuing Balochistan earthquake victims, not you BLA terrorist friends!

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  • Indi.pendent
    Oct 27, 2013 - 5:30PM

    Good move which was had been long overdue. Earlier 2% for Baluchistan was really inadequate and miserable. The 50% share of Baluchistan will go a long way in development of the province.

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  • ahmed ali
    Oct 27, 2013 - 7:01PM

    owner transfer to people of Baluchistan or to the tribal chief ……what about the royalties given in last 60 yrs ,

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  • unbelievable
    Oct 27, 2013 - 8:37PM

    Federal Govt doesn’t have the funds to develop and neither does Balochistan. To make matters worse your going to find it next to impossible to find any international investors after the Reko Diq debacle – who wants to invest Billions to have it stolen by corrupt Pakistan courts?

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  • Indi.pendent
    Oct 27, 2013 - 9:11PM

    BLA is sponsored, funded and supported by India, sitting in our western border in the guise of helping Afghans(consulates, training centers). Little did they know that Baluchistan unlike Bangladesh is bot surrounded on three sides by India, and only three sardars namely Bugti, Mengal, and Marri tribes and that even less than 15 percent demand an independence. And let not forget that Pashtuns are about 50% of Baluchistan population and there is no insurgency in their areas.

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  • Bakhtiyar Ghazi Khan
    Oct 27, 2013 - 11:44PM

    @usman786: M. Emad is an Indian Hindu using a Muslim name, no use to confound that confusion by discussing Baloch leaders.

    @indi.pendent: You are completely correct on all points. Note that Pukhtoons are greater than 50% of Balochistan population. Regardless, every Pakistani has a natural right to live in any part of Pakistan they choose. It is not the business of Indians or any other nations.

    Balochistan’s provincial government is Baloch, and Nawaz Sharif has been more than willing to accommodate Baloch leaders in the present government. Nawaz Sharif’s ethnicity as a Punjabi of Kashmiri origin is irrelevant. Pakistan is not based on ethnic chauvinism, but Muslim brotherhood.

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  • Nauman
    Oct 31, 2013 - 3:02PM

    @ Usman 786: i totally agree with your point of view

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