Cabinet approved $900m escrow account for Reko Diq in March, SC told.

ISLAMABAD -- The federal cabinet approved the creation of a $900 million escrow account for payments to the Chilean firm Antofagasta on March 14, 2022, whereas negotiations to reach a settlement with Barrick Gold Corporation (BCG) for the Reko Diq mining project were finalised on March 17, Additional Attorney General Chaudhry Aamir Rehman told the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, a five-judge Supreme Court bench had taken up on Oct 18 a presidential reference on Reko Diq.

Earlier, Antofagasta had proposal an amount of $1.75 billion for settlement of the dispute to the extent of their share, of which $700 million had to be paid within 10 days after the settlement of the agreement, whereas $350m each had to be paid in three-year instalments.

AAG Rehman informed the bench that Barrick Gold had said it would return and invest in the project provided they were given certain fiscal incentives like tax holidays for 15 years and concessionary rates.

Tracing the chronology explaining what measures the government adopted to ensure due diligence in the settlement of the mining deal with the BGC, the AAG said Evercore - international transaction experts - and Torys - the legal advisers - after initial valuation of the mining project and the framework of the fresh agreement proposed settlement with Antofagasta between $700m to $1.2bn. But the federal cabinet finally approved the amount at $900m.

Later, Pakistan hired the services of Lazard Freres SAS and the White and Case since they have the technical know-how about the complex nature of such an exploration project. The services of JP Morgan...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT