QUETTA: The Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) has submitted a counter proposal for handing over the Reko Diq contract, Balochistan government officials said on Wednesday.
It would give the provincial government a 25 per cent share in the income, besides giving it a five per cent royalty, officials told APP.
MCC also offered that it would construct roads, besides setting up a power plant at the mine site,” officials said. Officials said the Balochistan government could ink an agreement with the Chinese company if it promised transfer of technology, besides giving the provincial government a decision-making member in the board of directors.
Tethyan Copper Company recently completed a feasibility report in Reko Diq. It will ask for a mining licence after the feasibility study is approved by the provincial government. The area holds reserves of 2.2 billion tons of gold and copper.
Chinese also eye Gwadar Port
Furthermore, the officials said that the Chinese government was also interested in making Gwadar Port fully functional as it would help shift gold and copper extracted from Afghanistan to abroad.
China had invested about $3 billion in gold and copper mining projects in Afghanistan, said officials. The officials added if China uses Gwadar Port for the purpose, it could shift the gold and copper to international markets economically and in shorter time.
They said that the current Singapore-based operator had not yet been able to make the port fully operational.
Unfortunately, the company has not fulfilled its agreement,” officials said.
To a question, they said China would construct 20 more berths from the present five if it takes charge of Gwadar Port.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 16th, 2010.