LAHORE: China imports about 51% of copper from various countries, including Pakistan. There is much more potential in this sector to further improve trade by introducing contemporary technologies and techniques, said Wang Zihai, President of Pakistan China Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) during a session of think tank held at the PCJCCI secretariat on Tuesday.
He said exporting copper and other copper-related products from the country can help boost local industry. He added that four years ago Pakistan’s copper exports were only $106 million, however, in 2021; copper exports to China amounted to $600 million. He added that it should be noted that copper mining and processing requires high-end technology and the expertise of Chinese copper processing companies like MCC has played a very vital role in developing copper mines. of Saindak from 1995. He said the Saindak Copper Gold Project is designed to produce and process 12,800 tonnes of copper ore per day (4.25 million tonnes per year); Currently, the production of copper blister is about 13,000 tons per year.
Ehsan Choudhry, Senior Vice President of PCJCCI, said the current increase in exports is visible through Pakistan’s largest copper reserves, the “Reko Diq Project”, which is now operational and will be a game-changer for Pakistan. . If the deal goes smoothly, one of the biggest players in China’s copper industry, Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC), which operates the Saindak mines, plans to boost exports to $10 billion. per year. He added that in addition to Reko Diq and Saindak, the Chitral region in northern Pakistan is also very rich in copper reserves, but unfortunately a large number of mines in this region are not producing due to lack of modern technology.
Sarfaraz Butt, Vice President of PCJCCI, added that over the past 19 years of operation, this project has made steady profits and paid more than $468 million in taxes, fees and benefits to the governments of Pakistan and of Balochistan and to the owner and created more than 1,900 jobs. , purchased about various production and living materials worth 1.1 billion dollars, and contributed to the development of local trade, transportation, logistics and other industries, and provided the livelihood of thousands of families in the surrounding areas. He added that we should work on the managerial and technical training of our Pakistani workers to improve their capacity so that they can get more benefits from this project.
Salahuddin Hanif, Secretary General of the PCJCCI, pointed out that there is much more potential in the Reko Dik project similar to that of the Saindak Copper Gold project. We hope our government will issue international tenders for these projects as soon as possible and look forward to increasing copper exports to China.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022