How Pakistan lost $6 billion on a gold mine – by Fm Shakil (Asia Times – January 18, 2021)


PESHAWAR – Pakistan’s US and France based real estate assets are at risk of confiscation as a United Kingdom court moves to enforce an arbitration tribunal decree that fined it US$5.9 billion for retracting a 28-year old gold exploration contract with foreign mining companies.

This month, a British Virgin Islands’ court-ordered to establish a value on the Roosevelt Hotel in New York and the Scribe Hotel in Paris as part of an attachment process of the properties owned by Pakistan International Airlines Investment Ltd (PIAIL), a state-run company officially registered in the British Virgin Islands.

In July 2019, the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), a World Bank-run arbitration tribunal, hit Pakistan with a $5.9 billion fine for revoking in 2011 a gold-cum-mineral exploration license held by Tethyan Copper Company (TCC), a joint venture of Barrick Gold Corporation of Australia and Antofagasta PLC of Chile.

TCC had sought damages worth $8.5 billion for the premature termination of the Chagai Hills Exploration Joint Venture Agreement, a contract originally signed between Pakistan’s Balochistan provincial government and Australian mining company Broken Hill Property (BHP) in 1993 for rights to the Reko Diq mine.

BHP later sold its stake to TCC, which administered the gold and minerals mines from 2008 to the time legal proceeding started against the termination of the agreement.

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