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The Tale of Saudi Arabia’s Potential Investment in Reko Diq

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Saudi Arabia Eyes Stake in Reko Diq

Speculations are rife about Saudi Arabiaโ€™s interest in snagging a significant stake in Reko Diq, a mineral-rich project enticing international investors. The potential deal involves the Saudi company gradually boosting its involvement in Reko Diq, a venture where the Pakistani government holds a 25% stake, with the remaining 25% belonging to the Balochistan province.

Early Talks Amidst Uncertainties

Sources closely tied to the matter have disclosed that discussions are merely at a nascent stage and could either crumble like a house of cards or witness a temporary hiatus. The backdrop paints a picture teetering on uncertainty, highlighting the fragile nature of high-stakes negotiations in the financial arena. Barrickโ€™s CEO, Mark Bristow, has expressed reservations about diluting the companyโ€™s existing stake in the venture while subtly hinting at a potential buyout scenario involving Saudi Arabiaโ€™s sovereign wealth fund.

Rich Prospects in Balochistan

Reko Diq, nestled in the Balochistan region โ€“ flanked by Afghanistan and Iran, promises abundant copper and gold resources waiting to be brought to the surface. Barrick, a leading player in the gold industry, views this untapped reserve as one of the globeโ€™s premier copper-gold prospects. The projectโ€™s potential is underscored by estimates pointing towards an annual copper output of 200,000 tonnes alongside 250,000 ounces of gold for a staggering half-century or more. The anticipated production commencement in 2028 only adds to the heightened expectations surrounding the ventureโ€™s promise.

Saudi Arabiaโ€™s Diversification Endeavors

Saudi Arabiaโ€™s foray into Reko Diq forms part of the countryโ€™s broader strategy to diversify its economic pillars beyond the confines of oil dependency. By leveraging its extensive reserves of various minerals like gold, copper, and bauxite, the Middle-Eastern powerhouse aims to fortify its financial standing in the global investment landscape. Noteworthy is the collaborative effort spearheaded by Manara, a joint venture uniting Maโ€™aden โ€“ a state-backed miner, with the Public Investment Fund. The synergy culminated in a pivotal deal with Vale last year, solidifying Saudi Arabiaโ€™s footprint in the international mineral market.

(Credit: Information sourced from Bloomberg and Reuters)

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