Barrick, Antofagasta venture gives up Pakistan project Reko Diq

LONDON Wed May 8, 2013 10:51am EDT

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LONDON May 8 (Reuters) - Tethyan Copper, a joint venture between Canada's Barrick Gold and Chilean miner Antofagasta, has given up hope of eventually mining Reko Diq, a disputed but promising copper-gold project in Pakistan's poorest region.

Instead, Tethyan said in a statement on Wednesday that it would seek monetary damages as compensation for what it says are Pakistan's breaches of contract and treaty rights, and those of the region, Baluchistan.

"Recent developments have regrettably compelled Tethyan to withdraw the request for specific performance... While we have long hoped to mine Reko Diq, as is Tethyan's right, the conduct of Pakistan and Baluchistan has made that goal impracticable," Tim Livesey, Tethyan Chief Executive, said.

"We will pursue our claims for monetary damages, including lost profits for the mining operations, in the international arbitrations."

Since 2006, Tethyan has invested over $220 million for the development of a copper-gold mine at Reko Diq.

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