Barrick Gold Corporation has made the first payment of $3 million (approximately Rs750 million) to the government of Balochistan as part of the Reko Diq Partnership, stated a press release on Tuesday.
Reko Diq Pakistan Country Manager Ali Rind handed over the cheque of $3 million to Mines and Minerals Development Department Secretary Saidal Khan Luni.
As per the agreements, Barrick Gold and the government of Balochistan agreed upon the timetable for the disbursement of committed funds to the province. The agreement ensured that benefits from the project will start accruing to the people through advance royalties and social development funds well before the mine goes into production.
The project is expected to employ approximately 7,500 people and once it enters production, it will create around 4,000 long-term jobs, the statement added.
“Barrick’s policy of prioritizing local employment and suppliers will have a positive impact on the local economy,” the company said.
Barrick is working to set up community development committees to identify priority projects focused on food security, environmental management and access to education, healthcare and potable water, it added.
“Reko Diq is envisaged as a conventional open pit and milling operation, producing a high-quality copper-gold concentrate.”
The project will be completed in two phases, starting with a plant that will be able to process approximately 40 million tons of ore per annum which could be doubled in five years following first production from phase one, according to the press release.
“With its unique combination of large scale, low strip and good grade, Reko Diq will be a multi-generational mine with a life of at least 40 years.”