ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has reiterated Governments determination to explore all possible opportunities to attract investment, besides utilising the natural resources of the country for the economic prosperity of the people. The Prime Minister was talking to a delegation of consortium of mineral exploring companies that called on him at the Prime Ministers Secretariat Wednesday afternoon. Aaron Regent, President and CEO of Barrick Gold Corporation and Antofagasta Minerals SA of Chile, led the delegation. The Prime Minister said that Pakistan really wanted foreign investment and intended to encourage the best firms and companies, which could give the best results. It is with the same intention that the Govt has prepared investor-friendly policies and opened up various sectors for the interested investors. The PM informed the delegation, which intends to invest in exploration and development of Rekodiq Copper-Gold Mines Project in Balochistan, that the Federal Govt had discussed and decided in principle to fully support the consortium and expected the project would be launched at the earliest. The Prime Minister directed the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources to hold further discussions with the consortium and coordinate with the Government of Balochistan to finalise details. He was apprised that development of this mega project would generate revenue of about US $3.5 billion for Government of Pakistan and US $4.5 billion for Government of Balochistan over the life of mine, which was 40 years. He was briefed that the project would generate mass-scale employment of about 6,500 skilled and unskilled workers, transfer of technology, promotion of downstream industries, establishment of new township in the region and place the country on the world mineral map. Aron Regent, President and ECO of Barrick Gold Corporation leading the delegation appreciated the investor friendly policies of the Government of Pakistan and added that it was for the same reason that the consortium had been attracted to come to invest in Pakistan. He further mentioned that their respective governments had urged them to come to Pakistan in response to the demand of the Government of Pakistan for foreign investment. The initial investment of the consortium which included a Canadian and a Chilean firm, he said, would invest US $200 million, which could reach up to US $4b as per the progress on the project. He appreciated the response of the Govt of Balochistan to the project and lauded the sagacity of the Chief Minister. The meeting was also attended by Naveed Qamar, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Dr Hafeez Shaikh, Minister for Finance, Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister of State for Finance, and Kamran Lashari, Secretary Petroleum & Natural Resources. Aaron Regent was accompanied by the head of M/s Tethyan Copper Company, Gerhard Von Borries, Casrie Bogsi and Kelin Dashnisky of Barrick Gold Corporation and the Antofagasta Minerals.