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The ongoing Future Minerals Forum in Riyadh offers a significant opportunity for Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to advance discussions regarding a potential investment deal in the Reko Diq copper and gold project. The Pakistani delegation, led by caretaker Energy Minister Muhammad Ali, comprises key figures from the petroleum division, Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation (PMDC), Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), and Geological Survey of Pakistan (GSP).

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Reko Diq copper and gold project

Saudi Arabia has set a target to attract SR637 billion ($170 billion) in mining industry investments by 2030, tapping into its estimated SR4.88 trillion ($1.3 trillion) worth of mineral resources. The discussions at the forum may extend beyond the Reko Diq project, potentially including Saudi Arabia’s interest in constructing a refinery in Pakistan. The delegation may address this matter with Aramco officials, who are seeking the involvement of the Chinese company Sinopec in the refinery project—a collaboration that Pakistan has already agreed to.

Pakistan-Saudi Arabia investment deal-The visit aligns with Saudi Arabia’s eagerness to invest in Pakistan, considering it a strategic investment. The revised agreement for the Reko Diq project allocates 50% of shares to the Canadian company Barrick Gold Corporation, with Antofagasta of Chile exiting the project for a $900 million payment. Government entities OGDCL, PPL, and Government Holdings Private Limited collectively hold 25% shares, while Balochistan holds the remaining 25%.

Beyond minerals, the delegation aims to boost Saudi investment in various sectors in Pakistan, in line with the conditions set by the Kingdom. Resolving issues related to K Electric is particularly crucial, given that its primary owner, Aljomaih Power Limited of Saudi Arabia, plays a key role in the consortium with majority shares in the company listed on the PSX.

Overall, the discussions during the Future Minerals Forum provide a platform for both nations to strengthen economic ties, explore collaborative projects, and enhance their strategic partnership across various sectors, furthering the interests of both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

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