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Raisani says no mining licence granted for Reko Dik project

by Staff Correspondent DAWN
January 9th, 2010

Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani.-file photo,

QUETTA, Jan 9: A foreign company was granted a licence to explore copper and gold in the Reko Dik area but it was not allowed to mine the same, according to Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani.

Speaking to journalists in his chambers, he said the company had violated the contract, which had been signed only for exploring minerals.

Mr Raisani said the agreement had been terminated in the interest of the people of Balochistan, adding that his government would not allow any agreement which undermined people�s rights.

The chief minister said the federal government had not yet sought any explanation from the Balochistan government over the cancellation of the Reko Dik project. Meanwhile, a statement issued by a spokesman for the Balochistan government said the provincial cabinet in its meeting chaired by Chief Minister Raisani on Dec 24 had unanimously endorsed the Balochistan government�s stand on the termin-ation of the contract signed with the Tethyan Copper Company on the

Reko Dik Copper and Gold Project in Chagai district.

The provincial government, the statement said, would not work with the company beyond the exploration agreement. �Keeping in view the wishes and aspirations of the people of Balochistan, the elected provincial government is bound, morally and constitutionally, to safeguard the interest of its people and protect its resources from exploitation.�

He said the decision of the provincial cabinet relates to the termination of the exploration contract with the Tethyan Copper Company after it expired, while the fate of the company�s proposal for a mining agreement is yet to be decided.


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