ECC approves plans for an early launch of the Reko Diq project
On December 12, news sources said that the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) in Islamabad had approved two important agenda items related to the Reko Diq copper and gold project. This made it possible to start the project early.
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The federal government and the government of Baluchistan settled a dispute with Tethyan Copper Company, which is a partnership between Barrick Gold Corporation and Antofagasta, outside of court. The dispute was about the Reko Diq project in Baluchistan.
According to the terms of the settlement, the federal government has to pay off its debts to Antofagasta. The ECC has now given the Finance Division permission to tell three state-owned companies to put USD 22.71 million in an escrow account by December 15. Also, the ECC has given the Finance Division permission to set up the interest payments for the USD 8.51 million that the Baluchistan government has to pay.
Also, Baluchistan Chief Minister Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo said that the Baluchistan government will get more than 38% of the money made from the project, which is estimated to be around PKR 200 billion (USD 1.83 billion).
He said that the money would be used to improve the economy of the province and the lives of its people. The minister said that the project should create more than 8,000 jobs and make it easier for foreign and domestic businesses to invest in the province.