Tethyan Copper Files for Arbitration

Tethyan Copper Company in November 2011 filed for international arbitration to protect its legal rights at the Reko Diq cop-per-gold project in northwest Balochistan province, Pakistan. The filing followed sum-mary refusal by the Government of Balochistan in mid-November of the com-pany’s Mining Lease Application (MLA). Tethyan Copper originally submitted the MLA to the Government of Balochistan in February 2011, following submission of the project feasibility study in August 2010

. Tethyan Copper is a joint venture of Antofagasta plc and Barrick. Antofagasta acquired Tethyan Copper and formed the joint venture with Barrick in April 2006. Tethyan Copper has invested more than $220 million in the project since that time.

The deposit at Reko Diq is a large, low-grade copper porphyry, with total mineral resources of 5.9 billion mt at average grades of 0.41% copper and 0.22 g/mt gold. From this, the economically mineable portion of the deposit has been calculated at 2.2 billion mt, averaging 0.53% copper and 0.30 g/mt gold. Annual production has been estimated at 200,000 mt of copper and 250,000 oz of gold contained in 600,000 mt of concentrate over a 56-year project life.

Mining would be from an open-pit at a rate of 110,000 mt/d of ore (293,000 mt/d combined ore and waste). Capital investment to develop the project is esti-mated at $3.3 billion, including infrastruc-ture such as power, water and concentrate pipelines, roads and port development.

As featured in Womp 2012 Vol 01 - www.womp-int.com