Major mining players besides the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia want a piece of Barrick Gold Corp’s colossal $7 billion Reko Diq project in Pakistan, Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow told Bloomberg in an interview.
He said there is renewed interest from international mining companies that were previously unwilling to enter into risky regions of the world. “They have an interest. Of course, they’re a lot more conservative than I am, but as we open up these areas, whatever way you look at copper, there’s not enough of it,” he said.
He added, “We would not have a problem if Saudi Arabia and Pakistan came to an agreement. The Saudis are very interested in participating”.
Barrick, the world’s second-largest gold producer, notably views Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds as “serious” long-term investors for increasing its copper and gold businesses.
Besides having a collaborator on site with massive funding abilities, Barrick sees KSA as a potential partner with enormous political clout in Pakistan.
Barrick Gold controls half of Pakistan’s Reko Diq mine, with the remaining half held by the center and provincial government of Balochistan. According to Barrick, the mine is one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper-gold regions.