(By Yasir Habib Khan):-
As Gwadar Port emerges as a smart logistics hub, extensive deliberations are underway to weigh viable transportation options for copper and gold from Reko Diq, a small city in Balochistan, to Gwadar Port. Once finalized, Gwadar Port will handle and oversee shipments of copper and gold consignments to targeted destinations in Europe, Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.
Intensive negotiations took place when officials from the Barrick Gold Mining Company, involved in the $7 billion Reko Diq copper-gold project in Balochistan, held separate one-on-one meetings with Gwadar Port Authority Chairman Passand Khan Buledi and China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC) Chairman Yu Bo.
GPA official told Gwadar Pro that meetings mulled over theoretical and practical frameworks to utilize Gwadar Port for exporting copper and gold from Reko Diq. This small town is located in the Chagai District of Balochistan, Pakistan, in a desert area just 70 kilometres northwest of Naukundi and near Pakistan’s border with Iran and Afghanistan.
According to GPA officials, the meetings also discussed plans to lay a pipeline from Reko Diq to Gwadar Port to develop a pipeline route. They brainstormed the possibility of establishing infrastructure in either Gwadar Free Zone North or in a proposed industrial park being planned under the Gwadar Smart Port City Master Plan.
Furthermore, an offer was floated that Chinese companies proficient in copper and gold logistics could potentially collaborate with Barrick Gold Mining Company through sub-contracting, joint ventures, or other forms of partnerships.
The high-ups of the mining company held a series of meetings with officials from the Gwadar Port Authority and China Overseas Ports Holding Company from January 8 to 10, 2022, in order to formulate a roadmap for utilising Gwadar Port as a transportation centre. According to the enterprise’s vision, the extracted mineral will be transported to Gwadar Port for export from Chaghi via road.
According to officials at Barrick Gold Company, $7 billion will be invested in the mine which has the world’s largest undeveloped copper-gold deposits, over the next ten years. The company will invest $4 billion in the first four years and $3 billion in the following six years
“An agreement was reached earlier this year between the Government of Pakistan, the Provincial Government of Balochistan, and Barrick Gold, which provides for the reconstitution and restart of the project that has been on hold since 2011,” a company official said. He added that the company will not just operate the mine, but will also own 50 percent of it, while 25 percent will belong to the Balochistan government, and the remaining 25 percent will belong to Pakistani state-owned enterprises (SOEs).