Pakistan’s caretaker government is considering selling its shares in the Reko Diq project to Saudi Arabia to attract investment from the Gulf state.
Currently, 50% of the shares in the Reko Diq project are held by the Canadian company Barrick Gold Corporation, while Antofagasta of Chile has exited the project in exchange for $900 million from federal entities, including Oil & Gas Development Company Limited, Pakistan Petroleum Limited, and Government Holdings Private Limited, which collectively hold a 25% share.
The remaining shares are owned by Balochistan, with 15% being fully funded and 10% on a free-carried basis.
The Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) has urged the federal entities to complete the transaction with Saudi companies in the coming months.
The initial deadline for the completion of the transaction was of December, later extended to the end of March 2024.
Pakistan wants Saudi Arabia to invest in the existing Reko Diq project rather than explore a new mining area, and the value of shares is being assessed through a third party to facilitate negotiations.
Barrick Gold is also interested in having Saudis as partners in the project, but the question of major shareholding remains unresolved.
The federal government aims to attract investment in other sectors through this decision and expects the third-party assessment of share values to be completed by December 2023.