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Taj Muhammad

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Hilal English

The Saindak Copper-Gold Project: A Beacon of Pak-China Friendship and Prosperity

March 2024

As the Saindak Copper-Gold Project enters a new phase of expansion and sustainability, it remains steadfast in its commitment to excellence and partnership.  



In the rugged terrain of Chaghi, Balochistan, amidst the arid landscapes resembling the surface of the moon, lies the Saindak Copper-Gold Project, a testament to the enduring partnership between Pakistan and China. This ambitious endeavor, initiated in the early 1990s by the MCC (Metallurgical Corporation of China), stands as a beacon of economic cooperation, technological advancement, and corporate responsibility.
Discovered by the Geological Survey of Pakistan (GSP) in the 1960s, the Saindak Copper-Gold Project faced numerous challenges, including environmental constraints and security concerns due to its border location. However, in the late 1980s, MCC won the bid to undertake this monumental project, showcasing China's commitment to global partnerships. Despite setbacks in the mid-1990s, MCC's unwavering dedication led to the revival of the project in 2001, with MCC Resources Development Company (MRDL) taking over operations on a lease basis.
The Saindak Project boasts a comprehensive production process encompassing mining, concentrating, and smelting. With an annual copper blister output of 20,000 tons, it utilizes advanced techniques such as open-pit mining and conventional grinding processes. Meticulous quality control measures, including continuous monitoring and third-party inspections, ensure adherence to international standards. The refined copper and gold products, with a purity of 99.3 percent, are sold globally, contributing to Pakistan's industrial growth and global trade. By the end of August 2019, approximately 74 million tons of ore had been processed, and about 250,000 tons of copper blister had been produced.


The Saindak Project boasts a comprehensive production process encompassing mining, concentrating, and smelting. With an annual copper blister output of 20,000 tons, it utilizes advanced techniques such as open-pit mining and conventional grinding processes.


The Saindak Copper-Gold Project: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Beyond economic gains, MRDL prioritizes its social impact, recognizing the symbiotic relationship between the project and local communities. Through initiatives such as the Saindak School and Hospital, MRDL has provided education and healthcare services to thousands, fostering human capital development and improving the living standards of the local population. Moreover, extensive training programs have empowered Pakistani employees, nurtured local talent, and fostered cross-cultural exchange.
Benefits to the Local Population
The ripple effects of the Saindak Project extend far beyond its operational boundaries. By prioritizing local hiring and investing in infrastructure development, MRDL has stimulated economic growth in Balochistan, creating job opportunities and enhancing livelihoods. Furthermore, initiatives such as electrification, access to clean water, and road construction have improved overall quality of life, transforming remote communities into thriving hubs of prosperity.
The Saindak Copper-Gold Project stands not just as an emblem of economic progress but also as a beacon of hope for local communities. Amidst its core operations, MRDL has embraced a holistic approach to development, focusing on industrial growth and uplifting the lives of those residing in its vicinity.



Recognizing the pivotal role of a skilled workforce in driving sustainable development, MRDL has implemented a comprehensive talent training program. With over 9,000 training activities conducted and over 10,000 Pakistani employees benefiting from these initiatives, the company has enhanced technical capabilities and fostered a culture of continuous learning. Furthermore, the teacher-student mentoring sessions, involving over 2,400 pairs of Chinese and Pakistani employees, underscore MRDL's commitment to knowledge exchange and capacity building.



MRDL's workforce comprises 1,915 employees, with 1,763 being Pakistani nationals, demonstrating a commitment to local hiring and empowerment.



The refined copper and gold products, with a purity of 99.3 percent, are sold globally, contributing to Pakistan's industrial growth and global trade. By the end of August 2019, approximately 74 million tons of ore had been processed, and about 250,000 tons of copper blister had been produced.


Remarkably, 1,549 come from Balochistan province, accounting for 87 percent of these employees. 734 employees, i.e., 42 percent, are from the Chaghi district, and 439 persons, i.e., 25 percent, hail from Nushki.
This strategic emphasis on local recruitment has not only created employment opportunities but has also contributed to the socioeconomic uplifting of the region. Moreover, MRDL's substantial contributions, including over USD 1 billion for goods purchased in Pakistan and USD 400 million in taxes, charges, and profit shares, have catalyzed economic growth, making Saindak an industrial hub and significantly improving living standards.



MRDL's dedication to community welfare extends beyond its operational scope. The establishment of the Saindak School, providing free education to approximately 600 students, exemplifies the company's commitment to education. Furthermore, through scholarships, support for educational institutions, and sponsorships for higher studies, MRDL is nurturing the next generation of leaders.
Additionally, the Saindak Hospital, equipped with advanced medical facilities, offers free medical services to thousands annually, regardless of their proximity to the project site. This initiative has not only improved healthcare access but has also alleviated financial burdens for many families.



As MRDL continues to prioritize local development and community engagement, its efforts serve as a testament to the transformative power of collaborative partnerships. By investing in human capital, empowering local communities, and championing sustainable development, MRDL is shaping the present and laying the foundation for a prosperous future. As the Saindak Copper-Gold Project enters a new phase of expansion and sustainability, it remains steadfast in its commitment to excellence and partnership. Embracing the Belt and Road Initiative and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), MRDL envisions a future of shared prosperity, where mutual respect, collaboration, and innovation drive socioeconomic development.

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Taj Muhammad

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