The federal government is contemplating the sale of its shares in the Reko diq project to attract Saudi Arabian investors, and there is a reciprocal interest from Saudi Arabia in becoming a part of this venture.
In the revised agreement, fifty percent of the project’s shares are held by the Canadian company Barrick Gold Corporation, while the Chilean company Antofagasta has exited the project, valued at $900 million.
These funds were pooled together by three federal institutions, namely OGDC, PPL, and Government Holdings Private Limited. Among these institutions, they collectively own 25% of the project’s shares, with the remaining shares being held by the Balochistan government. Of these Balochistan government shares, 15% are funded entirely, while the remaining 10% are carried without any financial obligation.
The recently established Special Investment Council (SIC) has communicated with federal institutions with the intention of finalizing agreements with Saudi companies in the forthcoming months.
Initially, it was instructed that crucial work should be completed by December; however, this deadline was subsequently extended to March of the following year.
It has come to light that OGDC and PPL provided information about this matter to the Pakistan Stock Exchange, while GHPL, not being listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange, was not obligated to disclose information.
PPL has disclosed that its Board of Directors, on September 28, 2023, resolved to seek guidance from a specialized investment company, Messrs Pakistan Minerals Private Limited, to act as an advisor in facilitating the sale of its shares to Saudi investors, thus determining the leadership in this matter.
Regarding the entire situation, The News reached out to the SIC for confirmation. A representative from the council confirmed that Pakistan aims to secure a distinct block in the Rekodik project for exploration. However, Saudi Arabia is keen on becoming a part of the existing project, in line with other investors, to avoid the risks associated with mining in an unexplored area.
The key question now revolves around the distribution of shares in the project: will it be primarily held by the Saudi government or Saudi companies? In response, it was mentioned that third-party shareholding structure decisions will be finalized by December of the current year.
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