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Ready, set, start project!: Reko Diq to yield hefty profit for Balochistan

By Mohammad Zafar

QUETTA: Renowned scientist Dr Samar Mubarakmand said during a briefing to Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi on Wednesday that the provincial government has won the Reko Diq case in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and will now implement the project.

“Work will first begin on 2.2 billion tonnes of ore and gold reservoirs worth $400 billion,” he said.

According to Dr Mubarakmand, the Geological Survey of Pakistan spotted the Reko Diq reservoirs in 1978 and an agreement was reached with Australian company Tethyan in 1993. Now, however, this agreement has come to an end and Balochistan has also won the case in the ICJ.

He further said that, under this project, as many as 15,000 tonnes of raw material will be excavated annually worth $411 million and government of Balochistan is expected to earn an annual profit of $321 million.

The provincial government allocated Rs1,400 million for this project whereas only the water supply will take Rs1,980 million, being completed in a span of a year and a half.

Furthermore, Dr Mubarakmand said the local people of Balochistan will be recruited for the project’s non-technical positions.

Balochistan Governor Magsi stressed upon a timely execution of the project so that the masses can benefit as soon as possible and directed both the chief secretary and the finance secretary to ensure an efficient provision of funds. Additionally, he, too, emphasised the need for the local people to be given more jobs, and for project offices to be established in Quetta instead of Islamabad.

Furthermore, Magsi directed the authorities concerned to guarantee foolproof security arrangements.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 31st, 2013.