A number of letters are being published on the subject project. The issue is being confused by some writers who support the award of mining rights to M/S TCC on the ground that they have carried out the technical studies. This logic is incorrect. For such projects contracts are awarded for different stages of the project. Saindak project (copper/gold mining project in the same area) was developed by Resource Development Corporation, a fully govt. owned entity. Exploration was done by a separate foreign firm. Feasibility report was prepared by an American firm. Presently mining is being done by a Chinese company under a ten years lease contract. The ownership of the mines was not transferred to any foreign company as it is being done in Reko Diq project. Doling out the mining rights to a foreign company to attract FDI would be a disservice to the nation as the all raw mineral wealth will be siphoned out of the country for peanuts and no value added downstream industry would be established in the country. The most feasible option in the best interest of the country is to get this mining project developed indigenously under the umbrella of GOP by hiring foreign consultants, while local consultancy firms should be associated at all the stages i.e exploration, mining, techno-economic studies etc. Copper mines of Balochistan are predominantly copper and iron pyrites containing small quantities of gold and silver. As Reko Diq deposits are similar to Saindak therefore guidelines should be taken from Saindak techno-economic studies. All the minerals including copper, iron, gold etc. and also the value of sulphur associated with these minerals in the form of sulphides should be included to compute the prospective value of the mines. Potentially large quantities of sulphuric acid could be produced as a by-product of copper and iron smelting. Cheap power could be generated by utilizing exothermic energy of burning sulphide ores. A large sized phosphatic fertilizer plant could be established based on by-product sulphuric acid. A moderate sized steel mill could be established by utilizing the associated iron sulphides. Therefore it could be safely concluded that if Reko Diq project is developed by patriotic local expertise, a chain of basic mega industries could be developed in the country triggering an economic bonanza. FDI should be sought for developing downstream industries i.e copper smelting, blister copper, sulphric acid, phophatic fertilizer, iron & steel, copper refinery for the recovery of gold and silver and production of pure copper. ENGR. QASIM IQBAL KHAN, Lahore, December 28.