Pakistani Saindak Copper Mine Resumes Production

Pakistani Saindak Copper and Gold Mine Wednesday resumed production after almost seven years' discontinuation with the help of a well-known Chinese company.

A grand ceremony was held in the western remote border area to inaugurate the project by Pakistani Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Nauraiz Shakoor Khan, Chinese ambassador Zhang Chunxiang and Yang Changheng, president of China Metallurgical Construction Corporation (MCC).

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao sent a message to congratulate the resumption of copper production at the Saindak mine. It said that the project will provide new and useful experience for intensifying the mutually beneficial economic cooperation and trade between China and Pakistan.

China "will continue to take concrete steps together with the Pakistani government and people to bring China-Pakistan traditional friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation to a new high," it added.

In his speech, Zhang Chunxiang said the Chinese government attaches great importance to developing Sino-Pakistani friendly relations of cooperation. On the basis of equality and mutual benefit, China is willing to explore new means and scopes of cooperation with the Pakistani side, so as to further promote the traditional friendship and cooperation of mutual benefit between the two countries, he said.

Shakoor spoke highly of the Chinese government's support for the development of the Saindak mine, noting the project is anothersymbol of friendship between China and Pakistan and a milestone ofhis country's mining industry.

The Saindak mine, located near the Pak-Iran bordering area, is some 650 kilometers west of Quetta, capital of Pakistan's Balochistan province.

It is the first nonferrous mineral development complex in Pakistan with the assistance of MCC, which enjoys a comprehensive advantage of the industry.

MCC started to build the project in October 1990 and completed it in September 1995. As the Pakistani government was unable to provide working capital due to financial constraint, the mine was closed down two months after its handover.

The Saindak project, which was designed by the Pakistani government to open up the western border area and create more job opportunities for the local people, has the capability of producing 15,810 tons of blister copper, 1.47 tons of gold and 2.76 tons of silver annually for a period of 20 years.

People's Daily Online ---