Thursday, November 30, 2023

Saudi Arabia Eyes Stake in Pakistan’s $7 Billion Reko Diq, Barrick CEO

Saudi Arabia is currently engaged in discussions with the government of Pakistan regarding the potential purchase of a share of the government’s stake in a significant mining project known as Reko Diq. This project, which has an estimated value of $7 billion, is primarily focused on the extraction of copper and gold. It is considered one of the largest untapped copper and gold deposits globally and has garnered significant attention from both governments and mining companies.

The Reko Diq project is a collaborative effort involving multiple stakeholders, including the Pakistani government, Barrick Gold Corp, a leading international mining company, and the regional government of Balochistan, the province in which the project is located. Situated in the Baluchistan region near the borders of Afghanistan and Iran, the project has the potential to be a major source of copper and gold for an extended period, with an anticipated operational lifespan of over 50 years.

The interest shown by Saudi Arabia in Reko Diq is part of a broader global trend in which countries and companies are actively seeking to secure access to copper resources. This trend is driven by the rising demand for metals like copper, which are essential components in the production of batteries, especially for electric vehicles and renewable energy systems.

Barrick Gold is at the forefront of the development of the Reko Diq project, with plans to commence production around 2028. The project’s considerable potential has piqued the interest of various parties, including not only Saudi Arabia but also multinational mining firms.

In essence, Saudi Arabia is currently exploring the possibility of making an equity investment in the Reko Diq project, with discussions ongoing between the Saudi Arabian government and Pakistan. This investment would grant Saudi Arabia a stake in the future production of copper and gold from this substantial mining project.

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