December 09, 2022 (MLN): In a major breakthrough, the Supreme Court (SC) on Friday declared that the settlement agreement between Barrick Gold and the government in the Reko Diq mining project is legal.
After a five-judge, a larger bench of the apex court reserved its decision on November 29 in the presidential reference, Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial announced the 13-page short opinion today.
Accordingly, the court noted that the government considered court directives while entering the agreement after consulting experts and most importantly, the Balochistan Assembly was taken into confidence.
Furthermore, the elected public representatives did not file any objection to the agreement either.
The court said that the constitution does not allow legislation against national assets, adding that the provinces can make changes in the laws related to minerals.
There is nothing illegal in the new agreement and the agreement was not against the 2013 verdict given by the top court, said the court.
"Moreover, the agreement was not against the environment," it added.
During the previous month, a cock and bull story was being overheard in certain sections regarding Reko Diq as the only ray of hope for the crippling economy might go out of the hand as the clock is ticking to fulfill all conditions with Antofagasta PLC in the next six weeks.
"We also note that the proposed FI Bill 2022 will not only pave the way for implementation of the Reko Diq project in its present form but will also facilitate and encourage direct foreign investment in similar mining projects and other high capital-intensive industries in which direct foreign investment is required to be encouraged through guarantees assured by laws and regulatory measures," the order read further.
MG Link News after investigating the whole case and as per the findings on November 04, 2022, underlined that the project is not going anywhere as the notable progress is there.
As per well-informed sources, $500 million have been paid to Antofagasta PLC as a settlement and the remaining amount will be paid in days to come.
One should not have second thoughts regarding the execution of Reko Diq as Barrick Gold has started recruitment and for most of the important positions, the company has almost completed the hiring process, the source said.
Copyright Mettis Link News
Posted on: 2022-12-09T15:01:25+05:00
* This article was originally published here