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Antofagasta and Barrick win $ 6 billion legal battle with Pakistan

Mining industry

The World Bank Tribunal awarded nearly $ 6 billion to Tethyan Copper (TCC), a joint venture between Antofagasta and Barrick Gold Pakistan, thus settling a seven-year legal battle over the country's multi-billion dollar copper and gold mine.

Antofagasta and Barrick win $ 6 billion legal battle with Pakistan

The weekend ruling follows a 2017 verdict confirming that the South Asian country has violated several clauses of its bilateral investment deal with Australia, one of which was Tethyan Copper, by denying a mining license to partner Reko Diq.

Balochistan provincial authorities in 2011 rejected TCC's application for a mining license for the remote Reko Diq block, a rocky desert area near Pakistan's border with Afghanistan and Iran, even though the firm has been awarded an exploration license for the block yet in 2006.

The reason for this step was a counter offer from Chinese competitors - the Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC), which promised the province a large share of revenues and royalties.

The TCC referred the case to the World Bank's arbitration body, the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID for short), seeking damages related to the more than $ 500 million it spent on feasibility studies and exploration.

The US $ 3.3 billion Reko Diq open pit development project of strategic importance to Pakistan is estimated to yield 200,000 tonnes of copper and 250,000 ounces of gold per year, contained in 600,000 tonnes of concentrate, over 56 -years of service.

The Government of Pakistan has announced that it will appeal the decision of the tribunal.

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