Friday, December 8, 2023

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

Saudi Arabia is in discussions with Pakistan about buying a share of the government’s stake in a significant copper project valued at $7 billion. This project, called Reko Diq, is a large undeveloped copper and gold deposit, and it’s jointly owned by Pakistan, Barrick Gold Corp, and the Balochistan regional government.

Saudi Arabia is looking to acquire a part of this project through an equity purchase with the Pakistani government. The project, located in the Baluchistan region near Afghanistan and Iran, has the potential to produce large amounts of copper and gold for over 50 years.

Barrick Gold’s CEO, Mark Bristow, mentioned that Barrick won’t reduce its ownership in the project. Pakistan’s government has been in talks with Saudi Arabia regarding this deal.

This move is part of a broader trend where countries and companies are seeking to secure copper assets due to the increasing demand for battery metals. Barrick Gold aims to develop Reko Diq, with production expected to start in 2028, and this has attracted interest from various parties, including Saudi Arabia and other multinational mining firms.

However, Barrick’s CEO dismissed the idea of Egyptian gold billionaire Naguib Sawiris getting involved in the project. In simple terms, Saudi Arabia is considering investing in a significant copper and gold project in Pakistan, and discussions are ongoing.

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