The hills near the proposed site of the Reko Diq copper mine in Pakistan's province of Baluchistan are seen in this undated 2010 photo. The mine in remote Baluchistan, near the border with Iran and Afghanistan, is potentially one of the biggest in the world, with an estimated $60 billion in revenues over its 56-year lifespan. - File photo

QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Aslam Raisani has said the provincial government itself would run the Reko Diq copper-gold project in Chagai and had allocated Rs7 billion for the purpose.

Talking to a delegation of newspapers editors here on Sunday, he said a team of senior lawyers had been constituted to represent the Balochistan government during the hearing of a case filed by the Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) in the international arbitration court.

The case was filed after the Balochistan government refused to issue a mining licence to the company. The case will be heard in London.

The chief minister said the provincial government could also run the Gwadar port and acquire services of local and foreign experts to make it functional.

He said the federal government had assured him to provide Rs5 billion for roads linking the port with the rest of the country.

He said his government had extended an invitation to the Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industry to visit Gwadar and discuss the possibility of using the port for the Afghan transit trade.

Mr Raisani said the Balochistan government had allocated funds for investment in different sectors and for purchasing shares of the OGDC and Pakistan Petroleum Limited.

The chief minister said efforts were being made to restore the traditional beauty of Quetta by November this year. The government has allocated Rs1 billion for repair and restoration of roads and civic amenities in the provincial capital.

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