World Bank court orders Pakistan to pay $5.8 billion damages to Tethyan Copper

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This is a file photo of the site of the gold and copper mine exploration project of Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) in Reko Diq, in Balochistan, Pakistan. (Photo Courtesy - TCC)
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Empty trailers for housing workers at the site of the gold and copper mine exploration project of Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) are seen in this undated photo in Reko Diq, in Balochistan, Pakistan. (REUTERS)
Updated 14 July 2019

World Bank court orders Pakistan to pay $5.8 billion damages to Tethyan Copper

  • Tethyan discovered vast mineral wealth more than a decade ago in Reko Diq in southwestern Balochistan province
  • Company says had invested over $220 million when Pakistan government unexpectedly refused to grant them the mining lease in 2011

SANTIAGO: A World Bank arbitration court has ordered the Pakistani government pay damages of $5.8 billion to Tethyan Copper, a joint venture between Chile’s Antofagasta Plc and Canada’s Barrick Gold, the Chilean miner said late on Friday.
Tethyan Copper discovered vast mineral wealth more than a decade ago in Reko Diq, at the foot of an extinct volcano near Pakistan’s frontier with Iran and Afghanistan. The deposit was set to rank among the world’s biggest untapped copper and gold mines.
The company said it had invested more than $220 million by the time Pakistan’s government, in 2011, unexpectedly refused to grant them the mining lease needed to keep operating.
The World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) ruled against Pakistan in 2017, but until now had yet to determine the damages owed to Tethyan.
Tethyan board chair William Hayes said in a statement the company was still “willing to strike a deal with Pakistan,” but added that “it would continue protecting its commercial and legal interests until the dispute was over.”
The Reko Diq mine has become a test case for Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ability to attract serious foreign investment to Pakistan as it struggles to stave off an economic crisis that has forced it to seek an International Monetary Fund bailout.


Pakistan to be part of new Saudi foreign manpower program 

Updated 14 November 2019

Pakistan to be part of new Saudi foreign manpower program 

  • New skills-based system to be launched from next month
  • Will include India, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, and Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Starting next month, Saudi Arabia will introduce a new skilled foreign manpower program that will eventually include Pakistan, a senior official at the Saudi labor ministry said this week. 

Nayef Al-Omair, head of the vocational examination program at the Ministry of Labor, said on Tuesday in Riyadh that the ministry was categorizing the tasks and the structure of some professions for visa-issuing purposes.

Under the new policy, visas would be issued only after skill tests and the previous system would be gradually phased out. 

The new scheme would be optional for one year starting December 2019 after which it would become compulsory, Al-Omair said. The new program would first be applied to manpower recruited from India due to its large size in the Saudi market.

Eventually, the program will cover seven countries, including India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Workers belonging to these states constitute 95 percent of professional manpower in the Kingdom’s local market.

Saudi Arabia is home to around 2.6 million Pakistani expats those have been a vital source of foreign remittances.

Last year the country received $21.8 billion in remittances out of which $5 billion were remitted by Pakistani nationals working in Kingdom.

According to the Pakistani ministry of finance, there was a major decline in manpower export to Saudi Arabia where only 100,910 emigrants proceeded for employment in 2018 as compared to 2017, a drop of 42,453 emigrants.

However, Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari, special assistant to the Pakistani prime minister on overseas Pakistanis, said in an interview earlier this month that Saudi Arabia had agreed to increase the share of the Pakistani labor force in the multi-billion dollar New Taif City development.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have formed working groups to develop procedures for this transfer of manpower. Pakistani groups will visit the Kingdom in the coming months to finalize arrangements.