Barrick Gold to Contribute $150,000 for Relief Activities in Pakistan’s Flood-Hit Province

·2 min read

Barrick Gold Corporation has announced it is contributing $150,000 to for relief activities in Pakistan’s Balochistan province which has seen wide scale destruction and loss of lives after recent rains and flooding.

The Canada-based company has a mining license to extract and process gold from the Reko Diq project in Balochistan in partnership with the government of Balochistan and the Pakistani federal government.

The reserves are often called one of the world’s largest gold and copper reserves.

Javaid Khan, a resident of Milton, welcomed the move by the Barrick Gold. Javaid hails from Quetta which the capital of Balochistan province. He urged more international donors to step forward to help the people in need.

Barrick announced it was contributing the funds to the Balochistan’s Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) to support its relief efforts in the wake of unprecedented floods in the region.

Remote communities in the province were hardest hit by the heavy monsoon rains which killed more than 500 people in Pakistan.

In a statement it said that Barrick president and chief executive Mark Bristow spoke with the province’s chief minister, Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, and expressed the company’s condolences on the loss of life and suffering inflicted on the people of Balochistan.

Bristow said the contribution to the emergency fund was a demonstration of the spirit of partnership in which Barrick, Balochistan and Pakistan had embarked on the reconstitution and restart of the Reko Diq project, which holds one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper-gold deposits.

Balochistan will have a 25% fully funded share in the project (10% free carried and 15% to be funded by the federal government). Pakistani state-owned enterprises will hold another 25% and Barrick, with 50%, will operate the mine.

“Balochistan will benefit enormously from its stake in the mine. Even before construction starts, once the legalization process has been completed and the project reconstituted, we will start implementing social development programs representing an estimated investment of $70 million over the construction period. In addition, Reko Diq will advance royalties of up to $5 million in the first year, up to $7.5 million in the second and up to $10 million thereafter until construction starts,” Bristow said.

During peak construction the project is expected to employ approximately 7,500 people and once in production it will create 4,000 full-time jobs. Its policy of local procurement will stimulate the development of a robust local economy.

“Reko Diq has an estimated life of at least 40 years, so it will be generating substantial benefits for its Balochistan stakeholders for generations to come,” Bristow said.

Azra Shabbir, another resident of Milton said she was not happy with the aid amount, though she welcomed it anyway. “Multi-billion dollar organizations should be generous while donating, especially if they have profitable stakes in the communities they intend to help”, she said.

Saeed Akhtar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Milton Reporter, Milton Reporter