Balochistan is home to most of the mineral resources available in Pakistan and it possess great explored and unexplored potential of metallic and non-metallic minerals, some of which are currently being exploited and some which have future plans of exploitation.
Reko Diq is a small town in Chagai District, Balochistan, Pakistan. The town is located in a desert area, 70 kilometers north-west of Naukundi, close to Pakistan’s border with Iran and Afghanistan due to which it is located in the Tethyan belt that stretches all the way from Turkey and Iran into Pakistan. Reko Diq which translated into a sandy peak in the Baluchi Language is famous due to its Reko Diqmine which is known for its vast Gold and Copper Reserves and is believed to have the world’s 5th largest gold deposit.
The mine has an estimated reserve of 5.9 billion tonnes of ore grading 0.41% copper and gold reserves amounting to 41.5 million oz. The area is under the control of the Tethyan Copper Company which holds 50% of the share and the company completed a feasibility report in respect for the project and submitted it to the Government of Balochistan.
The initial plan contemplate or hopes that in the processing plant about 110.000 tons of ore per day will be processed and transported to Gwadar through a pipeline to a marine terminal facility for storage and transfer. The proposed processing plant will produce approximately 600,000 tons of copper concentrate a year, which will contain 28-31% copper and 7-22 g/ton gold which translates to about 200,000 tons of copper and 250,000 ounces of gold per year.
The mine has an estimated life of over 56 years with an estimated annual operating expense of US$400 million. The mining initiative is committed to the development of the project in order to cause the potential transformation of Balochistan’s dormant mineral resources into profitable mineral reserves. The project also will significantly contribute to the uplift of the local people and strengthen the economy in general by generating long term revenues in the form of royalties, taxes, profit-sharing and employment opportunities.
As soon as the Reko Diq project will go into development it will become the road for further investment in the exploration and mining sectors in Balochistan hence Pakistan in general.