Protests erupt as Karachi tries to sell Balochistan’s Reko Diq mine to Saudi Arabia

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Pakistan Weighs Selling Prized Reko Diq Mine Stakes to Saudi Arabia
Reko Diq Mines (Photo - Web)

Residents of Nokundi, Chagai district are on strike to protest against the attempt made by Pak Army to sell the Reko Diq Gold and Copper mine. Pakistan is trying the controversial sale of a 25 percent stake in the Reko Diq copper and gold mine to Saudi Arabia for around $1 billion.

Reko Diq, located in the mineral-rich Pak-occupied-Balochistan (PoB) province, is one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper-gold projects. Current ownership is split between Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold (50%), Pakistan-owned companies (25%), and the province of PoB (25%).

Reportedly, Saudi Arabia’s Manara Minerals Investment Company has emerged as a serious contender to purchase part or all of the 25% stake held by Pakistan’s enterprises. A potential $1 billion deal is being discussed.

However, policy experts and analysts argue the Reko Diq reserves, estimated at $6 trillion, could generate $200-$300 billion annually once in full production.

This is a big mistake. As foreign players will start excavating rare metal reserves crucial for semiconductors, like cobalt and lithium at cheap price benefiting Pak Army and other countries while Balochistan will not only lose its resources but will also pay price.

Reko Diq is expected to produce 430 million pounds of copper and 280,000 ounces of gold annually by 2032 based on projected commodity prices. Of which barely any amount will go to Pak-occupied-Balochistan. 

Pakistan has forcefully occupied Balochistan since 1948, exploiting its resources while oppressing its people. To maintain its grip on the region, Army has employed various oppressive tactics such as enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, and death squads, killing thousands of innocent individuals and making their loved ones live in a nightmare forever.

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