Tethyan Copper claims 25pc stake in Reko Deq


QUETTA: Tethyan Copper Company Chief Executive Officer Gerhard Von Borries has declared that Balochistan would have a share of 25 percent from the profit of copper-gold to be extracted from Reko Deq of Chaghi district despite the fact that under the mineral Rule, Balochistan government had no right over business of the company.
He said this on Friday during a briefing in the back drop of a controversy following a declaration by the Chief Minister Balochistan Nawab Aslam Raisani. The Chief Minister claimed that he would resist in case of an attempt to award Tethyan company mining licenses. Manager communication Saima Ali Shah and Communication officer Zahoor Baloch were also present in the briefing.
Tethyan’s Chief Executive maintained that according to the Balochistan mining rule, the state or province had no role in exploration or mining if licenses were awarded to a company except for collection of revenues under the head of taxes or royalty. He said that the rule was completely silent in this regard as was the practice in the whole world.
However, he said that the agreement signed between the company and government of Balochistan back in 1993 was an exceptional case and his company would work accordingly. “The agreement was purely on the basis of joint venture and if any party had an objection regarding any clause of the agreement, it should have made its point at that time. Tethyan inherited the agreement in 2006 and would be abided in letter and sprite”, Gerhard told the newsmen.
However, he said that the agreement was the best choice and protected the rights and interests of local people, government of Balochistan and government of Pakistan in general. He said that his company had no idea about the real apprehensions and concerns of the government of Balochistan or Chief Minister and the company was ready to remove them at any time. He said that the company had no issue with the federal government as the mines and minerals were provincial subjects.
“There is no reason that Tethyan is not awarded the mining license as it has already established credentials through upfront investment of $450 million and hopefully the project will prove as showcase, attracting more and more foreign investments in mining sector in Balochistan”, he declared.
Gerhard told that his company firmly believed that it could deliver better than anyone else and Balochistan had the best deal possible. He said that the company was extremely sensitive to all concerns of the government of Balochistan and committed to address them within the viability parameters of the project.
He said that to remove concerns and apprehensions of the Chief Minister, his government or the people of Balochistan, Tethyan was ready to accept the role of third party that could be engineering companies, consultants, experts. He said that the third party might go through the agreement while considering Tethyan role and its risk investment, keeping in view the practice of copper companies in world. He said that his company was sure that no third party could point finger towards Tethyan for any violation of the agreement.
He said that the two world copper giants Antofagasta and Barricks joined hands in investing in the project in 2006. He said that under BMR, other companies held exploration licenses with 100 percent ownership in Balochistan and if these projects went into mining stage, the government would receive royalties and taxes as in the most of the developed mining countries.
He said that under the agreement (1993), in the case of Reko Deq copper Gold project, the government of Balochistan would earn a 25 percent share in addition to royalties and taxes. He added that after investment and operational cost, almost 50 percent of the project revenues would go to both federal and Balochistan government in form of profit, royalties and taxes.