SAUDI Arabia is moving closer to a potential deal to acquire a minority stake in the Reko Diq gold and copper mining project, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

Manara Minerals Investment Company, backed by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, plans to invest at least $1 billion in the Reko Diq project, controlled by the Canadian mining firm Barrick Gold Corporation.

Manara “could announce that it’s reached a preliminary agreement on terms of a transaction as soon as the next few weeks, according to the people,” Bloomberg reported.

The Saudi company may increase its investment over time in the mine, which is part-owned by the Pakistan government. Deliberations are ongoing, and talks could still fall apart or be delayed.

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2024

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