The Tethyan Copper Company had approached the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in 2012 after the Balochistan government declined its lease request. The international tribunal on Saturday announced in a 700-pages ruling that Pakistan has to pay Tethyan 5.8 billion in damages, News reported.
The company is still “willing to strike a deal with Pakistan,” Tethyan board chair William Hayes said in a statement. But, added that “It would continue protecting its commercial and legal interests until the dispute was over.”
The case between the Pakistani government and the international company continued for at least seven years.
The penalty came as a major blow to the cash- strapped economy of Pakistan that has received billions in financial aid such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a few friendly countries, including China, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during the current fiscal year.
The Attorney General’s office issued a press release stating that Islamabad together with the Balochistan government was the legal and financial effects of the court orders and that the government was considering all aspects of the matter and will decide the future course with a consultation.
The press release said Pakistan had the right to use all legal options available under the international laws. The government also welcomed Tethyan Copper Company’s (TCC) offer to resolve the issue through negotiations. It also welcomed all the international investors to Pakistan.
It added that Pakistan was further interested in the development of Reko Diq resources and as a responsible state saw the international agreements and protection of legal rights and interests with seriousness.
Reko Diq mine is famed for its vast gold and copper reserves and is believed to have the world’s fifth largest gold deposit.
The small town of Diq in Chagai district in Balochistan is located in a desert area, 70 north-west of Naukundi, close to the border with Iran and Afghanistan.