ISLAMABAD In a rare development, Pakistan gave five years extension to a state-owned Chinese firm in its Saindak mining project after it agreed to pay five percent additional shares to Balochistan government, sources said on Monday. The multimillion dollar gold and copper deal with Metallurgical Corp of China (MCC) was extended ahead of expiry of companys existing contract in October 2012, sources maintained. Pakistan and China finalised new terms and conditions in revised deal on gold and copper mine on Saindak during recent visit of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilain to China, Zaffar Qadir spokesman of petroleum ministry confirmed TheNation on Monday, adding that as per revised terms and conditions, this extension would work till October 2017. According to sources, MCC had earlier also expressed interest in gold and copper Reko Diq project and issue was taken with the prime minister during his recent visit. Sources maintained that China through diplomatic channel had requested Pakistan to award the site of Reko Diq to MCC but Pakistan had declined the request fearing a possible legal battle with Tythyan Copper Company (TCC) that was recently facing a case in the Supreme Court regarding its deal. According to sources, all shares of Saindak Metal Limited (SML) were to be transferred to Balochistan under Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan (AHB) package, after expiry of mining contract with the MCC in October 2012. Balochistan government was also earlier reluctant to extend the deal with the Chinese company. But Balochistan government has now agreed to extend deal with the MCC that offered willingness to give 5 percent additional shares to Balochistan government, they said. At present, Balochistan holds 35 percent shares, federal government 15 percent shares and MCC 50 percent shares in the Saindak gold and copper mine project. However, after transfer of SML to Balochistan under AHB, 15 per cent shares of federal government will also go to Balochistan government. And after transfer of additional 5 percent shares to Balochistan as per the revised agreement, Balochistan share will increase to 55 percent whereas MCC will own 45 percent shares in the project after expiry of contract in October 2012, the sources said. At present, federal and Balochistan governments are in a row over transfer of shares under AHB package as federal government has claimed a loan of Rs 29 billion against SML, the sources added. Reportedly, SML Managing Director Raziq Sanjrani had offered federal government to either transfer SML free of cost to Balochistan or own 10 percent shares against investment made in the project. SML has refunded Rs 6 billion to federal government so far. Further Balochistan government has argued that federal government had not given any loan to SML and it was just an investment and therefore federal government could not declares 'investment as loan after decision to transfer SML to Balochistan under AHB. During trial production in 1995, Saindak project produced 1,500 tonnes of blister copper and successfully marketed it in international market but the project could not be made operational due to non-availability of trained manpower and working capital. The project remained stalled till 2001. Government of Pakistan had been incurring expenditure of Rs 300 million annually on payment of salary of staff and maintenance of machinery and other facilities. SML made efforts to arranger funds and manpower to make the project operational but failed to make any headway. However, in 1999, government decided to make the project operational and a committee of federal cabinet was also constituted. The cabinet in its meeting held in February 2000, approved recommendations of the cabinet committee and constituted a leasing committee that recommended leasing of project to MCC. The cabinet approved the recommendation of leasing committee in 2001. Lease contract was signed with M/s MCC on November 30, 2001 for ten years period.