Reko Diq Copper and Gold Mining: Issues & Recommendations


Reko Diq Copper and Gold Mining


Pakistan is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of natural resources but also one of the poorest among them in their management. The country is abundant in the vital resources including that of energy, agriculture, minerals, population, and geography, but unlike the developed countries, these have not been properly exploited due to poor management. This dismayed situation is caused due to several, both chronic and acute, flaws which have led to poor governance of country since its inception except some brief spells of economic prosperity. Prevalent political opposition and instability, deterioration of law and order and rampant corruption have catalyzed the situation to resource development standoff. Contrary to economic potential of its natural resources, Pakistan is a depending on foreign aid and debt, it is facing shortfall in trade, acute energy disaster to run industry, and water stress for agriculture, to name a few challenges.

However, the intimidating confrontation and the mounting public pressure caused due to awareness of civil society are increasingly influencing the political decision making. Eventually, there is sign of hope for devising effective strategy to exploit the natural resource wealth of the country for its self sufficiency and viable economic development. It is sufficing to say that the proper exploitation of this wealth would lead to the prosperity of this nation. Among the world’s 200 plus countries it has the second largest salt mines, second largest coal reserves, fifth largest copper and gold reserves, seventh largest wheat and rice production capacity. It is the sixth most populous country in the world having large share of young population. Had these resources been properly managed, this country would have been one of the richest economies of world. The detailed account of the natural wealth of Pakistan shows how such great potential has been unexploited due to mismanagement. Besides it, lack of insight of the politicians, poor planning, governance, corruption, and ignorance is making the mining sector development more controversial than ever.
To highlight the Reko Diq copper and gold mining issues, the controversies associated with it and the challenges faced in developing viable projects followed by recommendations to overcome the issues

Minerals are vital natural resources and are available in great quantity. Pakistan has fifth largest copper and gold reserves in the world. The Rikodeq project, copper and gold pool, have been estimated to be worth of 260 billion dollars, which is ten times the all financial aid received from USA in last sixty year. But instead of exploiting own resources for economic independence, country has been dependent on foreign aid. How rich Pakistan is, and how poor Pakistanis are! There are other partially untouched resources of rock salts, Gypsum, lime stone, iron, marble, and silica sand in large quantities. These resources have not been exploited due to corruption and bottlenecks in political and bureaucratic culture.

This study will be one of the first serious efforts to analyze the current issue of copper and gold mines viz-a-viz its impacts on the economy of Pakistan and may set the course for future studies in this area of national importance. To analyze the issues and review the impediments that has mining sector short of playing its role as a catalyst towards positive change in the socio-economic life of the people of Balochistan, establishing political harmony and economic development. The paper will further deliberate upon the available potential/opportunities and will give suggestions required to make mining sector developed in Pakistan to act as a catalyst of change for economic, social as well as political development of the country.


Literature review is a tedious part of any research. It is on one side very informative but on the other side quite time consuming. In the instant paper literature review is based on the details given ahead. The determinants of the Government’s role are given in “Balochistan Minerals Rules, 2002 — To Implement Provisions of National Mineral Policy (NMP) 1995, (Government of Balochistan, Department of Mines and Minerals, March 8, 2002 these rules are directly related to mineral in Balochistan. Pakistan and gulf economist (Jan 3, 2010) Page no 6 topic recalling economic history gives a complete biopsy of Pakistani economy and issues related to mining sector. on-Pakistans-mining-Industry gives details about the role of mining in development and pertinent issues. The Express Tribune Publication, June 28th, 2010 has focused the socio-political and socio-economic aspects of Reko Diq copper and gold mining issues. is save Pakistan has also compiled a study on the instant case. Pakistan Institute of Development Economics Islamabad has also spotlighted the mining sector in various research papers.


As evident from the nature of study, both the primary and secondary sources of data were to be used. For collection of the primary data, visits to concerned departments/institutes were held. Particularly the concerned desk of Mines & Minerals Department Government of Balochistan was contacted for data/information. The staff working in the sector was interviewed on phone and relevant record was obtained via email. For collection of the secondary data, relevant material was obtained from different sites on the internet, journals and other research works which are mentioned in the bibliography.

For the purpose of analysis, meetings with concerned personnel were held, interviews conducted and information gathered. Balochistan is taken as a universe for the study. The rationale behind selection of Balochistan as an option and opportunity is to save the data of being contaminated from any kind of bias. The criterion for selection of sampled province was its potential in mines and minerals and associated controversies. Microsoft Excel and Word Sheets were used as analytical techniques in the study. The data was subsequently arranged into tabular form and hence converted to information. Interpretation and comparison was based on the information obtained.


As a limitation, discrepancy was found in data/information collected from various offices/sites. To overcome the issue of discrepancy in data at various sites, reliance at most, was made upon the data available on official websites/government departments.