Supreme Court greenlights Reko Diq gold, copper mining deal – Money

After completing nearly a dozen and half hearings, the Supreme Court (SC) on Friday opined that provinces can alter laws related to mineral resources and said that the Reko Diq copper and gold mining deal did not violate its 2013 decision.

The five-member bench of the top court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial rendered its opinion on the Reko Diq agreement.

The top court gave the ruling on a reference sent by President Arif Alvi under Article 186 of the Constitution in the Reko Diq Project on the advice of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

The president sought the apex court’s opinion whether a new deal on the Reko Diq project was legally safe under the Constitution of Pakistan and international arbitration.

Reko Diq is one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper-gold mines. The project is being restarted after remaining on hold since 2011.

The court said that the Constitution ensures disposal of public assets under due process only.

Although Pakistan has been slapped a whooping fine of $9 billion in the Reko Diq case, the court had observed that the federal government abided by the constitution and the law.

Therefore, the federal and provincial governments had signed an agreement after taking the opinion of the legal experts, said the top court.

Moreover, the court added that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh enacted laws regarding mineral resources.

Remarking on the agreement, the court said that it did not violate the top court’s decision of 2013.

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