ISLAMABAD -Barrick Gold Corporation has made the first payment of $3 million (approximately 750 million Pakistani rupees) to the government of Balochistan as part of Reko Diq Partneship. According to press release issued here on Tuesday, Reko Diq Pakistan Country Manager Ali E. Rind handed over the cheque for $3 million to Secretary, Mines and Minerals Development Department, Saidal Khan Luni. As per the agreements, Barrick Gold and the Government of Balochistan agreed upon the timetable for the disbursement of committed funds to the province. The agreement ensured that benefits from the project start accruing to the people of Balochistan, well before the mine goes into production through advance royalties and social development funds. The project is expected to employ approximately 7,500 people and once in production it will create around 4,000 long-term jobs. Barrick’s policy of prioritizing local employment and suppliers will have a positive impact on the local economy. Barrick is working to set up community development committees to identify priority projects focused on food security, environmental management and access to education, healthcare and potable water.
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The company plans to finish the Reko Diq feasibility study update by the end of 2024, with 2028 targeted for first production. Reko Diq is envisaged as a conventional open pit and milling operation, producing a high-quality copper-gold concentrate. The project will be completed in two phases, starting with a plant that will be able to process approximately 40 million tonnes of ore per annum which could be doubled in five years following first production from phase one. With its unique combination of large scale, low strip and good grade, Reko Diq will be a multi-generational mine with a life of at least 40 years.