The long-delayed Reko Diq mining project in Balochistan was revived by an agreement reached in March between the Pakistani government and two foreign companies, Antofagasta PLC and Barrick Gold Corporation, which was upheld as valid by the Supreme Court of Pakistan on Friday. While delivering its complete decision in the presidential referral requesting its view on the case, the supreme court approved the transaction. Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial officially revealed the 13-page verdict, which was reserved a week earlier.
The order specified that provinces might change the laws governing minerals but that the legislation forbade agreements on national resources that violated the Constitution and the court noted that the Balochistan Assembly was informed of the situation and that elected officials did not complain. Additionally, the deal complied with environmental standards, and Barrick Gold Corporation guaranteed that labour rights would be taken into account when the project was implemented, according to the judgment.
The majority of the labour force would be hired from Pakistan, as promised by Barrick Gold Corporation, according to the directive moreover the decree further said that the project will be utilised to fund social activities and that skill development programmes would be included as part of it.
The court concluded that the new Reko Diq deal was not unlawful and did not contravene its 2013 ruling.
Imran Khan, who was the prime minister at the time, said in March of this year that a deal had been reached with a Canadian company to develop the Reko Diq mine in Balochistan, which would result in the creation of 8,000 new jobs for the local populace.
In a tweet, he said, “I applaud the country and people of Balochistan on the successful deal with Barrick Gold for the development of the Reko Diq mine.”
Balochistan’s Chief Minister, Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, hailed the SC ruling as “historic” and expressed his appreciation.
It was a recognition of the Balochistan government’s “commitment and endeavors for the financial stability of the province and preservation of its riches,” he claimed.