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Thread: Reko Diq

  1. #21
    Think Tank Muse's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
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    Re: Fears grow about Reko Diq Gold mines

    Clearly Sana Baloch (from sanctuary in Switzerland?) has offered China a warning she would do well to not ignore - The Pakistani state is not able, even if it were willing, to protect Chinese citizens - and the case is being made that China is a neo-colonial power bent on extracting resources -- and Chinese friends should know that this kind of language and this kind of narrative sells in Pakistan, Pakistanis like this kind of Marxist narratives of history and commerce and of course "exploitation" -- and all of that means the murder of innocent Chinese.

  2. #22
    Administrator Aryan_B's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
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    Re: Fears grow about Reko Diq Gold mines

    It would be in our supreme national interest to favour Chinese IMO. After all for once Pakistan would prove not to be a liability to our closest ally

  3. #23
    Think Tank Muse's Avatar
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    Re: Fears grow about Reko Diq Gold mines

    Quote Originally Posted by Aryan_B View Post
    It would be in our supreme national interest to favour Chinese IMO. After all for once Pakistan would prove not to be a liability to our closest ally
    I would not hold my breath for that to happen -- If I say, it's Pakistan we are talking about after all, some will respond that it's a mindset that needs to change, others will describe events in Marxists terms which will all boil down to the essential truth about all things worth doing in Pakistan, "How much?"

    This is the essential truth of Pakistan - it is a hedge, a bet that office holders of the Pakistani state are making about Pakistan and their own exit strategy ---- All too Dark Muse, it's not all that bad, Mr. Lakhani may say:

    But look it and decide for yourself as to what truth talking means:

    Sino-Pak relations: Half-baked reforms a threat to stability

    By Shahbaz Rana
    Published: August 29, 2013


    Instability is always the result of half-baked reforms and Pakistan should learn from China’s success story including a balance between roles of government and market, says Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms.

    He was speaking at the Planning Commission here on Wednesday where China’s National Development and Reform Commission vice chairman also delivered a lecture.

    Iqbal said Pakistan needed China’s assistance in development not only in terms of financial and technical parameters but also in learning successful reforms management.

    The Planning Commission looked forward to a strong partnership with the National Development and Reform Commission of China for the development of Pakistan, he said.

    Iqbal also underlined the need for developing and engaging human resources and natural resources and stressed that Pakistan needed to learn from the world’s best practices.

    National Development and Reform Commission Vice Chairman Zhang Xiaoqiang ascribed China’s economic success to a right mix of socialist and capitalist policies. Beijing is now aiming to improve efficiency and quality of products following astonishing economic development for years, he said.

    Sharing the success story of his nation during the lecture, Xiaoqiang said the ground for economic development was laid by political stability and China maintained a balance between socialist and market economy.

    He stressed that adherence to the right set of reforms with flexibility of changing policies according to the requirements helped China sustain continuous growth. China also focused on social justice and removed structural obstacles to growth

    He told the audience that individual and private businesses were contributing greatly and were important components of the socialist economic model. In recent years, new regulations aimed at facilitating private businesses have been introduced.

    Since opening up, Chinese government’s intervention in the market has been on the decline and private sector’s contribution is increasing.

    Xiaoqiang highlighted the development milestones and progress achieved over the last 34 years. After opening up, Beijing has made remarkable progress in economic development. Average economic growth has increased to 9.8% and the size of gross domestic product (GDP) has grown to $8.2 trillion, second only to the United States.

    China has focused on a national agenda for economic development, which remains the central focus point. “Development is progress and stability is a pre-condition for development,” and without stability, nothing can be achieved, he said.

    However, according to Xiaoqiang, despite being the second largest economy of the world, China’s per capita income was very low, which needed to be increased.

    He said attention was also paid to equitable rural-urban development, but still called it a major policy challenge for the socialist country.

    He said One-China was opening up to the world and making positive contributions to the global economy. After achieving competitiveness, he said, the next big challenge would be to improve quality and efficiency as the luxury of abundant raw material was no more there.

    China is also attaching importance to increasing the size of its services sector besides encouraging foreign investment.

    OK, just between us, what other than Will is required to ensure the reforms are carried out? Political stability? But isn't that a function of will?
    So, what happened to "How much?"? - That question exists in the absence of Will -
    Development is progress and stability is a pre-condition for development

    Damn!, Double Damn!! Stability and Islamist insurgency and Balouch Separatists and Criminals as politicians, political parties with "Militant wings" - Damn !! Double Damn!!.
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  4. #24
    Senior Member Jameel's Avatar
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    Aug 2013
    Pakistan Pakistan

    Canadian firm which did study on Reko Diq blacklisted by World Bank

    Saturday, September 21, 2013

    WASHINGTON: The Canadian company which carried out the controversial feasibility study into the multi-hundred billion dollars Reko Diq gold and copper mines in Pakistan has now been declared by the World Bank as the world’s most corrupt corporation and blacklisted in dozens of countries.

    According to the blacklist of the World Bank released two days ago, out of the 250 companies, 119 belong to this one Canadian giant, LNC-Lavalin, which has the highest number of corrupt and fraudulent companies. After the 119 Canadian companies, 46 US firms, 43 Indonesian, over 20 Chinese and even one Pakistani company have also been blacklisted.

    The Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin Group Inc appears on the list 58 times as a Canadian subsidiary and 14 times as an American company, with many more SNC subsidiaries named all over the world. It has been banned in Malaysia, Malta, Saudi Arabia, US, Canada, Algeria, Angola, Austria, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Egypt, India, Dominican Republic, Russia, Nigeria, Tunisia, Korea, Barbados, Mongolia, Panama, Peru, Brazil, Peuto Rico, South Africa and Uruguay.

    Lavalin officials are accused of bribing officials in many countries and at least $56 million were doled out to these corrupt officials for various favours and illegal things that the company was involved in.

    Lavalin carried out the feasibility report on the Reko Diq mines on behalf of Barrick Gold at a cost of US$70 million in recent years but that report was kept a secret from Pakistan. The widespread corruption done by the company raises a host of questions about their work in Pakistan and why the feasibility report was never made public or even not revealed to the Pakistan government in full.

    When I asked the spokesperson for Lavalin about this feasibility report a few months back, I got this official version: “Here is the answer from Leslie Quinton, spokesperson for SNC-Lavalin: Our apologies for the delay responding to your email. We had to gather the information in order to answer you. Yes, we were involved in this study. It was actually for Tethyan Copper (a joint venture of Barrick and Antofagasta), and the mandate was carried out between 2008 and 2012.

    “Unfortunately, as per our internal policy, we cannot comment on the value of our services as it is usually confidential between us and our client.” Signed Lilly Nguyen.The Canadian police two days back charged a former senior executive of Lavalin and two influential Bangladeshi businessmen and lobbyists with bribery related to the $3-billion Padma Bridge in Bangladesh.

    The RCMP announced on Wednesday they have laid bribery charges under Canada’s Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act against Canadian Kevin Wallace, former senior vice president of SNC-Lavalin International Inc (SLII), a division based in Oakville, Ont., that has recently been disbanded. Also charged are Zulfiqar Ali Bhuiyan, a Canadian citizen with business ties in Bangladesh, and Abul Hasan Chowdhury a prominent lobbyist in Bangladesh.

    Two lower-level SNC-Lavalin employees, Mohammad Ismail and Ramesh Shah, are already awaiting trial in Toronto facing similar allegations that they conspired to pay bribes to help Lavalin win a supervising contract worth $50 million for the Padma Bridge mega project.

    Riadh Ben Aissa, who was charged by Canadian authorities in November with fraud and corruption, arranged the massive payments to Saadi Gadhafi, 38, described as a friend of Ben Aissa who is in jail in Switzerland for suspicion of money laundering and bribery linked to at least two Canadian projects.

    A spokesperson for SNC-Lavalin has been quoted by some media outlets as saying some employees were suspended as a result of investigation but other parts of the company were not affected.

  5. #25
    Member cb4's Avatar
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    Apr 2014
    Pakistan Pakistan

    Why is govt in a hurry to pay TCC for Reko Diq?

    DUBAI/ISLAMABAD: The Nawaz Sharif government is in an unnecessary haste to settle and pay millions, possibly billions, of dollars as compensation for the Reko Diq gold and copper mines to a discredited and ousted Canadian-Chilean mining consortium, a decision if made may resemble the infamous circular debt payment of Rs500 billion in the early days of the PML-N government.

    Interestingly, mining and legal experts and the London and Pakistani lawyers of the Government of Pakistan as well as the Government of Balochistan do not agree.Chief Minister of Balochistan Dr Malik recently rejected the speculation that the provincial government had made any compromise on the Reko Diq copper-cum-gold project and said he would “soon disclose the facts about it.” He did not elaborate.

    The News has talked to all the stakeholders in this matter, top British and Pakistani lawyers, including the firm of Mrs Cherie Tony Blair, ex-law minister Ahmer Bilal Soofi, known scientist Dr Samar Mubarakmand, Federal Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, spokesman of the Finance Ministry, son of the former Chief Justice Arsalan Iftikhar, a Canadian mining expert and some interested investors of US and Canada, besides others who spoke off the record.

    All gave different versions and different on-the-record responses.The bombshell was thrown by Federal Minister for Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi who broke the news and said he was sending a summary to the prime minister seeking approval to immediately start negotiations with the Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) to settle “out of court” a claim which the TCC has launched in the International Court for Settlement of Disputes (ICSID).The Supreme Court of Pakistan, headed by ex-CJ Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, after he took suo moto notice of stories published by The News, threw the TCC out of Pakistan.

    Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told Ahmed Noorani in Islamabad: “I am sending a summary to the prime minister for seeking his approval to start negotiations with TCC. Talks with TCC will start after PM’s approval and all details will be discussed while both sides will be sitting on the table.”

    Khaqan Abbasi rejected the thought that the move to start negotiations with the TCC showed that the government was in some indecent haste. “Rather it is an understanding of the ministry that sitting on the table can help us both. What will be our final deal with TCC or whether we will give some project of Reko Diq to TCC cannot be discussed at this stage,” commented the petroleum and natural resources minister.

    Abbasi said it was not possible to go into the details before that but he said “it was always an option to sort out issues with TCC by sitting on the table as an award of arbitration can be harmful for both sides.”He said the Supreme Court had already declared the agreement with the TCC as null and void and this was the final legal position.

    The issue at hand is that the International Court’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has yet to decide whether it has the jurisdiction to intervene in such a matter and that the judgment will come after several months. The court will also decide whether Pakistan has any liability to pay.

    Once these two decisions are taken, then the stage of determining the quantum of payment will arrive and that may take years. If any settlement on the table is needed, that would be at a later stage, otherwise the ICSID would fix the amount.

    Rana Asad Amin, spokesman of the Ministry of Finance, told The News said that his ministry was only aware of the ICSID hearing on the TCC-Government of Balochistan dispute on Reko Diq and waiting for its decision which will be announced after four to five months.

    “The Ministry of Finance is not aware if there are any talks for some deal of $5 billion for Reko Diq with TCC,” Rana said.How did the figure of $5 billion or over Rs500 billion come up? No one knows as the TCC has not officially made any mention of what amount they will claim from Pakistan in an out-of-court settlement. But figures have been thrown around unofficially and through the Western media.

    For instance, the influential Wall Street Journal reported in May 2013 that a 2010 feasibility study put TCC’s share of the potential profits on Reko Diq’s 56-year mine life at $12 billion.When WSJ asked whether TCC would seek such monetary compensation, its CEO Tim Livesey said the company had hired an independent economic adviser to provide advice on how much compensation to seek and would only be in a position to disclose the figure in the second half of 2014.

    So this figure has been thrown around unofficially with feelers that Pakistan may be forced to agree on a settlement close to $5 billion, experts in the field say.WSJ says the TCC has only invested $260 million in exploration but Tim Livesey says we will also claim the lost profits, which is a highly controversial claim.

    Many experts say TCC may have spent some money “unofficially” on putting “wings on files” but the company cannot claim a compensation for these expenses.Dr Samar Mubarakmand, a known Pakistan scientist who was present in Paris in October when the international court heard the case, says TCC conducted feasibility study of only one deposit in Reko Diq and is now seeking compensation for 14 deposits.

    Why Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and his government is so keen to begin talks now to pay the ousted mining company is even beyond understanding of the high level legal team that was hired by Pakistan and Balochistan to fight the case in the ICSID in Paris.

    The legal firm of Cherie Blair working in close coordination with prominent lawyer Ahmer Bilal Soofi in Pakistan was asked a set of questions and they responded in writing as follows:“We write with reference to your email of 24th November 2014 in which you have raised certain queries to Omnia, below are the comments of the Legal team representing Government of Pakistan in ICSID.

    “We make it plain at the outset that this response is not a comprehensive briefing on the arbitration proceedings commenced by Tethyan Copper Company Pty Limited (“TCC”). It is aimed at providing you with information, where appropriate, in response to your queries.

    “We note that you are doing a news story about ‘TCC-Govt of Pak negotiations for out of court settlement on Reko Diq’. Please note that we are not in a position to comment on the existence of settlement negotiations between the Government of Pakistan and TCC.

    “The present mandate of the legal team is to represent the Governments of Pakistan and Balochistan in the ICC and ICSID arbitration proceedings commenced by TCC in November of 2011.

    “We will deal with each of your questions in turn.

    Q: Is it your understanding that ICSID will issue a verdict after 4-5 months on all 3 issues before it at the same time, i.e.Jurisdiction, Liability and Quantum of Compensation.

    A: The ICSID proceedings have been split into two phases. The current phase addresses only issues of jurisdiction and liability. The issue of quantum has been bifurcated and will be heard only if the Tribunal assumes both jurisdiction and finds Pakistan liable for violation of the Australia-Pakistan Bilateral Investment Treaty (“the BIT”).

    The ICSID Tribunal held an oral hearing on the issues of jurisdiction and liability over a two-week period in October 2014 in Paris. The Tribunal has ordered the parties to file written post-hearing submissions by 15th January 2015. Given past experience, we anticipate that the Tribunal will issue a decision on jurisdiction and liability issues in at least about five to six months after the filing of the post-hearing submissions.

    “If the ICSID Tribunal assumes jurisdiction and finds Pakistan liable, only then will the proceedings move to the determination of quantum. This will entail the parties filing written submissions on quantum issues and an oral hearing. We anticipate that such a phase could take at least a year to a year and half

    “Q: Can Pakistan negotiate a settlement even before ICSID decides the jurisdiction issue? We think they should not but you may not comment on this if you want.

    A: As counsel, it is our duty to advise our clients on all options, including that of settlement. We have advised our clients to explore the option of settlement on a without prejudice basis. This is of course without prejudice to our client’s position in the arbitration cases.

    “Q: Do we have a strong case?

    A: We cannot comment on the merits of our client’s case, but can confirm that this is an important case and both Governments have mounted a vigorous defence. We do note, however, that the Governments of Pakistan and Balochistan have defeated TCC’s requests for interim relief in both the ICSID and ICC cases. TCC had effectively sought an injunction to restrain Pakistan from exploiting the Reko Diq deposits either itself or through third parties for the duration of the arbitration proceedings. Both the ICSID and ICC Tribunals rejected that request, and there is therefore no impediment to or restriction on the Governments of Pakistan and Balochistan dealing with the deposits as they deem fit. For example, the Government can lease the Reko Diq deposits to other investors. Further, the Governments have also successfully forced TCC to narrow the scope of the relief it requested from the Tribunals. TCC’s claim is now restricted to claiming damages and costs. It has withdrawn its earlier request for specific performance, i.e. that it be granted a mining lease over the Reko Diq deposits.

    “Q: Is there a Case History where ICSID has determined jurisdiction even though Supreme Court of Pak (or any country) has given a verdict against a petitioner.

    A: We do not deem it appropriate to comment on this query given it would entail commenting on a point which is or may be in issue in the arbitration.

    “Q: Can you refer us to 1 or 2 past cases where jurisdiction issue was decided by ICSID in similar circumstances?

    A: We do not deem it appropriate to comment on this query given it would entail commenting on a point which is or may be in issue in the arbitrations.”

  6. #26
    Senior Member Neo's Avatar
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    Pakistan Netherlands

    Re: Reko Diq

    Analysis: Reko Diq’s billion-dollar mystery
    Syed Shoaib Hasan

    THE dispute between Pakistan and Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) over the Reko Diq mines in Balochistan appears to be headed to an out-of-court settlement. Earlier, the Supreme Court, in an order passed in January 2013, had declared void the Chagai Hills Exploration Joint Venture Agreement (CHEJVA) signed between the Balochistan government and Australian mining company BHP in 1993.

    BHP later sold its stakes to a then unknown TCC, which ran the mine till the case started in 2008.

    As the litigation continued, TCC also approached the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), initially citing breach of contract. However, the ICSID also denied its contention of mine ownership. The company then argued for loss of investments amounting to $400 million, and appears to have presented a case for a favourable verdict. However, it also appears willing to reach a compromise if allowed to maintain a stake in the lucrative venture.

    Take a look: ADB to help resolve Reko Diq row

    Inside sources say the case is largely handled by the Balochistan government, which is said to be under pressure from the Centre to reach an out-of-court settlement. Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch denied this, after allegations by opposition parliamentarians accusing the government of giving in to TCC, saying he would not “sell a stone of Reko Diq”.

    So what exactly is Reko Diq, a dusty little town located in Chagai — of nuclear-test fame — district? The Reko Diq mines have been the centre of much controversy since their discovery by BHP. CHEJVA, signed in 1993 by Balochistan’s then caretaker chief minister Naseer Mengal, granted exploration rights to BHP for the entire Chagai area. This was the start of a series of executive decisions that appear to have injured Pakistan’s interests.

    The agreement gave BHP a 75 per cent share in discoveries made in the next 56 years over the 3.3 million acre area. The Balochistan government got a 25pc share on a joint-investment basis, and a mere 2pc royalty.

    Subsequently, between 1993 and 1997, exploration marked out 14 potential sites containing 48 pockets for excavation, collectively called the Reko Diq complex.

    BHP obtained licences for mineral exploration here, and almost immediately at a site called EL-5, clear gold and copper deposits were discovered after a shallow dig.

    ‘Highway robbery’

    “This is when the international mining community got an idea of the potential of Reko Diq and moved quickly and quietly to put their own interests first,” said Naeem Awan, a Karachi-based former Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz legislator, whose petitions related to the matter first brought the case to the SC’s notice. “What they have done since is highway robbery, while those who should be guarding Pakistan’s interests continue to look the other way.”

    Geological literature and interviews with experts reveal that Chagai district is part of a belt called the Tethyan Magmatic Arc, which extends thousands of kilometres from Europe into Mongolia. The arc is a known reservoir for rare metals, and Pakistan’s share lies underneath the region between Chagai and North Waziristan.

    Recent estimates by various geological organisations, including the US Geological Survey, put the value of the entire block between one to three trillion dollars. Some geologists contend that this is a low-end estimate as it does not take into account ‘rare earth’ materials essential to new fields such as nanotechnology and semi conductors.

    Many questions

    In this situation, and given the nearby location of the Saindak mines, there was a very high possibility of finding gold in Chagai district. Why, then, was a 25/75pc deal signed, while the precedent was a 50/50pc deal with the much-maligned Chinese in Saindak? More importantly, why was such a deal — signed by the unelected, interim Moeen Qureshi caretaker set-up — allowed to continue unquestioned till 2008? Further, it must be asked why no independent assessment has been done of the deposits in Reko Diq.

    It also appears that TCC itself has something to hide.

    The TCC website says Reko Diq’s “economically mineable portion” is “2.2 billion tons, with an average copper grade of 0.53pc and gold grade of 0.3 g/ton.” This means that approximately 10 million tons of copper and 13 million ounces of gold are available to be mined.

    But another study by TCC geologists — published by the Society of Geologists in 2008 — says that the copper-gold deposit at Reko Diq “is world class and contains 18 million tons of copper and 32 million ounces of gold”. This means TCC is understating the copper deposits by eight million tons and the gold by 19 million ounces. Even this estimate makes it the tenth largest mine in the world. Experts believe a proper evaluation would take it to at least the number five rank in the list.

    Why is this being done?

    The answer lies in how BHP’s stake was taken over by Mincor Resources NL (one of the largest mining companies in the world) which set up TCC as a front. The company was later acquired by the Canadian-Israeli owned Barrick Gold (said to be the real power behind TCC), which also brought the Chilean Antofagasta to share the risk.

    Barrick Gold is the largest mining firm in the world, and along with Antofagasta, controlled 75pc of Reko Diq till the SC stepped in.

    Current estimates, which are considered quite conservative, say Reko Diq’s revenues should be $240-$260bn over a 40-year period. Pakistan’s share of this would potentially add nearly $1.5bn to national GDP.

    However, TCC’s offer was $54bn over a 30-year period, including a clause to take all the raw gold and copper out of Pakistan “for refining purposes”.

    With this background, suspicions are naturally created as to why Pakistan’s leadership is in such a hurry to sell what could be a major factor in alleviating the country’s economic woes.
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    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. - Albert Einstein

  7. #27
    Senior Member Hariz's Avatar
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    Apr 2014
    Pakistan UK

    Re: Reko Diq

    [MENTION=50]Neo[/MENTION] we have a bunch of crooks in control so anywhere there is money expect fraud.
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