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'1974 Saindak lease restricted to copper only' - Chinese syphon off 1600 kgs of gold: Sana Baloch.

The Balochistan High Court is displeased with the Mines and Minerals officials as they are avoiding to furnish details of the new contract for Saindak Copper and Gold Project. A division bench of the BHC, comprising Chief Justice Noor Miskani and Justice Hashim Kakar, is hearing a petition which is challenging the agreement between a Chinese Company and the federal government. The Secretary and the Director General, Mines and Minerals abstained court proceeding which angered the bench. The officials also failed to submit an official reply on the petition. The petition came up for the regular hearing last week.

The court censured both the officials for defying court proceedings and also for failure to respond to the petition filed in this connection. Sana Baloch, a former Senator and a Central leader of the Balochistan National Party (BNP) is one of the petitioners in the case. He was personally present in the court. Deputy Advocate General Abdullah Khan Kakar and Assistant Advocate General Shahak Baloch represented the government. Chinese Company MCC which has been awarded the project was also represented in the court.

Sana Baloch has claimed that the mining lease of 1974 is concerned with copper only and there was no mention of gold. The Chinese company has already taken away 1600 kilograms of gold from the Saindak, he claims. The company did not fulfill its promise to establish a refinery separating gold from copper at the metal mining complex, Baloch said.

He thought mining gold from the copper mines is illegal as it is not part of the lease. The former Senator welcomed the government move to re-open the Saindak Lease Case for a review. He deplored that precious metals from Balochistan are being plundered at the cost of the poor people who are denied basic facilities of life and state services, including employment opportunities. Sana Baloch demanded cancellation of the lease to the Chinese company and called for open bidding at international level in which the poor people should be the real beneficiaries of economic development, mainly exploiting the precious metal mines of Balochistan.

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Publication:Pakistan Engineering Review
Date:Jan 31, 2018
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