Nine talented young Baloch graduates selected for the Reko Diq Mining Company (Barrick) ‘International Graduate Program’
Quetta, Balochistan,– The highly-coveted RDMC (Barrick) International Graduate Program launched in July this year culminated in the selection of nine young graduates from across Balochistan. The primary goal is to cultivate a cadre of future experts and leaders who will not only fill the void in the region’s skill landscape but also champion the Reko Diq Mining Company along with their province.
Being a global company, Barrick has a presence in 19 countries and seeks to facilitate cross-border learning of its team members so that there is opportunity to transfer knowledge and skill and enhance in-country capability. For Pakistan this program is an investment to build national human resource capacity for the mining sector. The International Graduate Program has a term of two years after which employees usually return to their country of origin to work for the Barrick business there.
The nine individuals, four of whom are women, belong to various parts of the province and were selected through a merit-driven process. The graduates selected come from across the province of Balochistan from districts such as Panjgur, Gwadar, Quetta, Loralai, Khuzdar, Pishin and the RDMC district of operations Chagai. Disciplines that RDMC (Barrick) has hired from are Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Renewable Energy and Geology.
RDMC made a conscious effort to find Baloch students since opportunities for employment and training have historically been limited in the province. RDMC approached various educational institutions such as the Balochistan University of Engineering & Technology (BUET) Khuzdar, National University of Science & Technology (NUST), University of Balochistan and Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering & Management Sciences (BUITEMS). RDMC also shared details of this program through advertising it in mainstream publications in July 2023.
RDMC HR manager, Nida Yousuf said: “This is a tremendous life-changing opportunity for these young graduates. They will travel to the Barrick assets in Argentina and get on-job training as well as capability development mining disciplines. Eventually we look forward to these bright professionals returning to Pakistan and adding value to our pool of human resource at the Reko Diq Mine”. This is the first cohort of graduates from Balochistan through the Barrick International Graduate Program. True to the Barrick philosophy this mining operation will add value to the lives of the local communities from the district of operations Chagai to the province of Balochistan and in fact, to the host country Pakistan.
About Reko Diq
Reko Diq is a world class copper-gold mine in the making located in Chagai district of Balochistan province, in Pakistan. One of the largest undeveloped copper-gold projects in the world, Reko Diq is owned 50% by Barrick, 25% by three federal state-owned enterprises, 15% by the Province of Balochistan on a fully funded basis and 10% by the Province of Balochistan on a free carried basis. Barrick is now updating the project’s 2010 feasibility and 2011 feasibility expansion studies. This should be completed by 2024, with 2028 targeted for first production.
Reko Diq will be a multi-generational mine with a life of at least 40 years. as a truck-and-shovel open pit operation with processing facilities producing a high-quality copper-gold concentrate. Construction is expected in two phases with a combined process capacity of 80 million tonnes per annum. During peak construction the project is expected to employ 7,500 people and once in production it will create 4,000 long-term jobs. Barrick’s policy of prioritizing local employment and suppliers will have a positive impact on the local economy. The company plans to finish the Reko Diq feasibility study update by the end of 2024, with 2028 targeted for first production from the giant copper-gold mine in the country’s Balochistan province.
Reko Diq will be a major contributor to Pakistan’s economy which is expected to have a transformative impact on the Balochistan province where, in addition to the economic benefits it will generate, the mine will also create jobs, promote the growth of a regional economy and invest in development programs.