Chinese companies among others interested in Rekodiq deal, Pakistani Supreme Court told

Islamabad: Pakistani Supreme Court has been told that companies from China, Russia and Japan had approached for the Rekodiq deal but these companies were not ready to pay the US $ 9 billion fine imposed on Pakistan.

A five-member larger bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi, and Justice Jamaal Khan Mandokhel is hearing the presidential reference filed in the case.

The president on the advice of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had filed the reference to seek the top court’s opinion on the Rekodiq settlement agreement.

During the course of proceedings, Balochistan government’s lawyer Salahuddin Ahmad said that 25 percent share of the total capital received from Rekodiq project belonged to Balochistan government. Out of 25% of the capital, 15% would be held by the holding and offshore company of Balochistan, he added. He said that Balochistan government would get 25% capital, 5% royalty, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and jobs facility.

The counsel informed the court that feasibility studies of the Rekodiq project would begin in two and a half years, and formal work would begin in the next five years.

“Companies from China, Russia and Japan also approached for the Rekodiq deal but these companies were not ready to pay the US $9 billion fine imposed on Pakistan,” he added.

Justice Ijaz asked what was the case against Pakistan in International Center for Dispute Resolution and International Criminal Court. The counsel replied that the International Center for Dispute Resolution had a case against the government of Pakistan for breach of contract while there was a case against the Balochistan government in the International Criminal Court for violation of the agreement. If Pakistan did not sign an agreement by December 15, the company would take legal action, he added.

The counsel stated that transactions in the Rekodiq deal would be through offshore companies. The government of Balochistan would get 32 billion Dollars in capital from Rekodiq project in 47 years, he added.

The court later adjourned the hearing of the presidential reference on the Rekodiq agreement for a day till Thursday (today).

The Rekodiq mine is a planned mining operation, located near Rekodiq town in Chagai District, Baluchistan. It represents one of the largest copper and gold reserves in the world having estimated reserves of 5.9 billion tonnes of ore grading 0.41% copper and gold reserves amounting to 41.5 million ounce (oz).

The Rekodiq area is part of the Tethyan Magmatic Arc, extending through central and southeast Europe – Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Iran and Pakistan through the Himalayan region into Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.