Reko Diq case: SC seeks documents tying Mincor, TCC

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has sought contract documents of the Mincor Resources NL’s making the Tethyan Cooper Company (TCC) it’s representative, DawnNews reported.

A three member bench of the apex court, led by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising of Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, resumed the hearing in the Reko Diq case.

While presenting his arguments, counsel for the TCC Khalid Anwar told the court that the exemption granted to TCC was extended even after the passage of seven years.

Anwar said that the Australian TCC was registered in 2007 in Pakistan and that the company had only entered into an agreement in 2002.

Justice Gulzar inquired from the TTC lawyer if the Balochistan government had approved the merger between the TCC and the US based BHP company, adding that the TCC does not seem to be a direct party to the Reko Diq agreeement.

Barrister Khalid Anwar told the court that the TCC was included in the agreement as a representative of the Mincor Resources NL on Oct 24, 2000.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry sought the documentation authorising the TCC as a representative for the Mincor company adding that agent companies do not possess absolute powers of the principal company while conducting business and that the representing company performs limited operations.

Chaudhry further inquired that under what law was the TCC authorised to work with complete powers of the principal company.

The bench had taken up a petition of Dr Abdul Haq Baloch seeking a restraining order against the federal and provincial governments from attending the proceedings of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and the International Chambers of Commerce (ICC) in view of an earlier court order asking the Balochistan government to request the international arbitrators to withhold their hearing until a decision by the court on the matter.

Tethyan Copper Company, a Canadian and Chilean consortium of Barrick Gold and Antofagasta Minerals formed to explore gold and copper, had invoked the jurisdiction of the ICC and ICSID against the government of Pakistan for not renewing the prospective Reko Diq minerals license in accordance with Balochistan Mining Rules 2002.

The ICSID has already reserved its judgment on the dispute.