Pakistani federal cabinet approves Saindak Mine lease to Chinese company

By Shafqat Ali | Gwadar Pro Feb 16, 2022

ISLAMABAD, Feb.16(Gwadar Pro) - Pakistani federal cabinet on Tuesday afternoon approved the extension of Saindak Mine lease to the Chinese company - Metrological Construction Company of China (MCC), registered locally with the name of Saindak Metals Limited (SML). The Chinese company is already working on the project.

Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar said the Federal Cabinet had approved the extension of Saindak Mine lease. “As per the newly negotiated agreement, the government of Pakistan's share in profit has been increased from 50:50 to 53:47 in Pakistan's favour,” he tweeted after the federal cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

He informed that the royalty to the Balochistan government was also enhanced from 5 percent to 6.5 percent of sales revenue, besides “social uplift support to the government of Balochistan from 5% to 6.5% of net profit & increase in annual rent by up to 40% (indexed with price).”

The minister maintained that the newly negotiated agreement was concluded in consultation with all the stakeholders including the Balochistan provincial government.

The Ministry of Energy had earlier submitted a summary on 15 years' extension of the lease contract between the Saindak Metals Limited (SML) of Pakistan and the Metrological Construction Company of China (MCC) for the Saindak Copper Gold Project. Currently, the lease contract was valid till Oct 31, 2022, which would now expire in 2037.

MCC will pay $700,000 per annum as rent and another USD 500,000 annual for the London Metal Exchange (LME) copper price, according to the revised terms. MCC will make USD 45.5 million additional investment on a need basis.

This project had been developed for local ore exploration, mining, and processing of blister copper. The federal government has invested more than Rs 29.2 billion in the project and it has been declared as an Export Processing Zone (EPZ) up till October 31, 2022.

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