Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Barrick Gold Corporation, Mark Bristow on Sunday said engineers of the company had arrived at Reko Diq field and they had started preliminary work while the recruitment process had also been started for the project.
He said this while speaking at a simple but impressive ceremony held at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat after the signing of the Reko Diq agreement.
Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, CEO Barrick Gold Mark Bristow, Acting Speaker Balochistan Assembly Sardar Babar Khan MusaKhel, Opposition leader Malik Sikander advocate, Provincial ministers, Senator Manzoor Khan Kakar, Parliamentary leader and opposition members besides a team of experts working on Reko Diq project and provincial authorities attended the ceremony.
The aim of the event was to highlight the ownership and partnership of the people of Balochistan. On this occasion, Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo and CEO Barrick Gold Mark Bristow signed the documents for the payment of 3 million dollars by the company to Balochistan as part of the agreement.
The amount will be transferred to the Balochistan government this month, while under the agreement; the payment of royalties from the company to Balochistan will also be started from March this year, along with the social and economic development of the company area.
Addressing the gathering, Mark Bristow said that, he was grateful for the welcome from his friend, the Chief Minister of Balochistan Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, and Assembly members.“We are encouraged that this evening and this meeting are historic as we begin work on the project at the beginning of the new year.
Mark Bristow said that Barrick Gold Corporation has established a project office in Quetta. “A team of experts has been chosen as this is a joint venture, so we are also representing local experts in our team,”
He noted that establishing a cordial and trusting relationship with the community and their welfare will be our top priority.
Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo on the occasion said the participation of the opposition leader in today’s ceremony was evident from the fact that government and opposition are on the same page regarding the Reko Diq agreement.
He said officials who brought the agreement to a successful conclusion had worked hard with sincerity. “We pray for the success of the parties involved in this project,” he concluded.