Unexplored wealth: Senators made party to Reko Diq case

The mining company says Pakistan has the world’s largest copper reservoirs.


Express January 26, 2011

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday accepted a constitutional petition filed by 26 senators to become a party in the Reko Diq case to restrain the government from renewing the contract of Tetyhan Copper Company (TCC) in violation of the law.

The senators claim the government is acting arbitrarily in leasing the mines to a foreign company as it is against the citizens’ fundamental rights and the national interest.

The court asked the company for details concerning the exploration and excavation of gold and copper from the Reko Diq mines in Balochistan estimated at over $260 billion.

A four-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising Justice Ghulam Rabbani, Justice Sair Ali and Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday heard the case. TCC’s chief executive, Ger Hard said Pakistan has the world’s largest copper reservoirs, though Chile is the biggest copper-producing country in the world.

He said the company will use the latest technology for which it will train the people of Balochistan since 98 per cent of the manpower would be selected from the province. Eleven thousand people will get jobs if this project takes off. Of the 13 geologists hired by TCC, 12 belong to Balochistan.

The company has incurred a cost of $220 million till date, Hard said, adding that 30 per cent of the net profit will be invested in Balochistan. The gold and copper will be sent to China, Korea and Japan for refining.

The bench directed TCC to submit the details in writing including the names of the 13 geologists by tomorrow. The court adjourned the case till Wednesday.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 26th, 2011.

COMMENTS (5)

Haris | 10 years ago | Reply reply: Amir Jan 27, 2011 - 12:49AM SC and some others are just getting over excited. Though there are reserves of over $260b, do they know how much is it going to cost to set up a proper infrastructure, how much is it going to cost to refine. The exploration contract was extended by Late Gen Musharraf (I am calling him 'Late' deliberately) with a deal that the company is allowed to keep 75% of the total amount of raw material explored from the land while Pakistan will receive a share of remaining 25%.
G.Khan | 11 years ago | Reply Embazzalement with Pakistan Treasury should be punished with Death Penalty. Senators should pass that law first and send it to Parliament for approval.
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