Reko Diq Copper and Gold Mining: Issues & Recommendations



Keeping in view the facts explained above, one of the dominant factor that caused issues like Rikodeq copper and gold mine is political that resulted in discontinuation of policies and diverted attention. The rivalry, biasness and political leg-pulling among stakeholders deteriorated all hopes regarding development of these mines. This inconsistency kept the exploitation and development of natural wealth not only unattended but controversial too. However, it would be unfair to put all the burden of poor resource management on the political factors. The bureaucratic bottlenecks and corruption have been equally responsible for this undesirable scenario. The stand still in the Rikodeq project is an example of this case. Pakistan is ranked at 34 in Corruption Perception Index 2010 by Transparency International, which is a discouraging factor for foreign direct investment.
In addition, the worsened law and order situation in Balochistan has caused severe blow to the economy in general and future of natural resource management in particular. The volatile situation in the Province is harmful to the exploitation of resources. Besides mines and minerals, the Gawadar port, despite being located at crucial location, has not been made fully functional. Other projects of mineral exploration are also affected. These factors of poor management have placed Pakistan in an undesirable situation domestically and internationally. The socio-economic situation remains gloomy as the GDP growth rate is one of the lowest in South Asia at 2.2 percent, trade deficit is estimated about $16 billion, inflation rate continues to be in double digits at 15 percent, population below poverty line is alarmingly around 35 percent, and unemployment is at 15 percent.
On the other hand, the politicians, policy makers and all the stake holders must adopt a rational approach not to politicize the Rikodeq mines. It should be prioritized as the vital national interest and dealt with as such. All the associated controversies on the management of Rekodeq resources must be resolved pragmatically for best interest of the nation. Last but not the least, worsened law and order situation in Pakistan in general and Balochistan in particular has led to boiling down of investment, which needs an urgent check. The private firms engaged in resource exploration must be protected by the state. Ensuring the security, would attract investment in the respective areas which would subsequently guarantee the inflow of capital in the national economy and the resource potential could be fully exploited.
It needs not to be emphasized that Pakistan is not poor but poor management of its natural resources has made it so. The billion dollars resources of Rikodeq have made this country a bird that lays golden eggs. Instead, there been bleak picture of economy and undesirable image outside due to the chronic flaws in vision and policies. Thus, the daunting challenge of poor management of these resources direly needs to be addressed not only to overcome the perils caused due to it but also to achieve economic self sufficiency and prosperity of the Province.


There is no denying the fact that Pakistan has favorable geology for exploration and mining activities, but there is little mineral production in the country, although exploration activities have increased since the introduction of the National Mineral Policy in 1995. Despite its potential, the controversial agreements and casual attitude of public authorities like Rekodiq copper and gold mines issues have made the contribution of mining to the economy quite minimal. Its formal contribution is less than 0.4% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at present but based on the country’s potential, the mineral sector with sufficient capital and a favorable investment climate has the capacity to contribute annual revenues and foreign exchange in the range of $1.5-2.0 billion or 2-3 % of GDP, stimulate secondary and tertiary economic activity, promote growth and provide employment and community development in largely remote regions of the country.

Based on the above findings, it is recommended that the Government must:

  1. Prepare a Mining Law and Regulations based on the National Mining Policy; to protect precious recourses from being mishandled
  2. Review the Mining Fiscal Regime as presented in the Mining Policy Statement; in the context of prevailing controversies.
  • Modern technology needs to be introduced so as to reduce dependency on foreign companies.
  1. Implement Institutional Strengthening and Capacity Building for the Departments of Mines and Minerals, both at the Federal and Provincial levels, to put in place the capabilities needed to implement the National Mining Policy and administer the sector in particular.
  2. Bring improvements to the mining tenement management system and geological information systems;
  3. Prepare and implement key environmental and social measures to ensure adequate environmental protection and social mitigation of mining-related impacts
  • Improvement is needed in the regulatory framework’s attractiveness particularly with reference to private investors for the purpose to enhance its coherence to adequately meet the needs of large mining development projects.
  • Public Mining Institutions face a number of constraints and require capacity building to execute their mandates. However, capacity building for Public Mining Institutions has to be integrated in a broader framework. There is a need for better coordination among government branches – both at the Federal and Provincial level, through joint initiatives like shared information systems.
  1. Lack of infrastructure remains a major constraint to mining development at all levels: roads, railroads, ports, airports, telecommunications, etc. There is a need to take into consideration potential mining developments on Governmental infrastructure planning.