Reko Diq finally abandoned by Canadians, TCC

The News - International, Pakistan

Reko Diq finally abandoned by Canadians, TCC

10 May 2013

ISLAMABAD: Tethyan Copper Company (TCC), a joint venture between Canada’s Barrick Gold and Chilean miner Antofagasta, has given up hope of eventually mining Reko Diq, a disputed but promising copper-gold project in Pakistan’s poorest region, Reuters news agency reported on Wednesday.

The Reuters report implicitly confirmed that TCC had failed to make any breakthrough with the Pakistan government.The report came a few days after Pakistan media reports that a top level delegation of the TCC and Barrick had secretly visited Pakistan for negotiations but there was no progress. Neither side confirmed the meetings.

Law Minister Ahmar Bilal Soofi had refused to meet a TCC delegation and on April 22 Attorney General Irfan Qadir said in a written petition in the Supreme Court that the caretaker government had refused to see the TCC people on Reko Diq. According to Reuters, Tethyan said in a statement on Wednesday that it would seek monetary damages as compensation for what it says are Pakistan’s breaches of contract and treaty rights, and those of the region, Balochistan.

“Recent developments have regrettably compelled Tethyan to withdraw the request for specific performance. While we have long hoped to mine Reko Diq, as is Tethyan’s right, the conduct of Pakistan and Balochistan has made that goal impracticable,” Tim Livesey, Tethyan Chief Executive, said. “We will pursue our claims for monetary damages, including lost profits for the mining operations, in the international arbitrations.” Since 2006, Tethyan has invested over $220 million for the development of a copper-gold mine at Reko Diq. While TCC continues to say they will sue Pakistan, they have already lost two cases in international arbitration courts.