Pakistan Threatens to Cancel $3bn Mining Project

13 January 2010 (Last Updated January 13th, 2010 18:30)

Pakistan is threatening to terminate Barrick Gold and Antofagasta's $3bn copper and gold joint venture project in the country’s south-western Baluchistan province. The Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) joint venture holds a 75% stake in the Reko Diq project and the exploration license for th

Pakistan is threatening to terminate Barrick Gold and Antofagasta's $3bn copper and gold joint venture project in the country’s south-western Baluchistan province.

The Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) joint venture holds a 75% stake in the Reko Diq project and the exploration license for the site, while the provincial government owns the remaining 25% interest.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said the situation is unlikely to go forward under current terms.

“We can’t continue with this project in its present form. We have to protect our key national interests,” Tarin said.

Reko Diq project contains over nine million ounces of gold and 11 billion pounds of copper.

The cancellation of the Reko Diq agreement would be a step towards gaining control of resources in the province but could hurt Pakistan’s image as a destination for foreign investment.