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International relations

Pakistan insurgents behind China attacks threaten Barrick Gold mine

Experts see project as a key test as cash-strapped country seeks more investment

A member of Pakistan's navy guards Gwadar Port in Pakistan's Balochistan Province: Security poses a challenge as separatists threaten Chinese and other foreign investment projects.   © Reuters

ISLAMABAD -- A Canadian gold giant's planned foray into Pakistan's restive southwest is shaping up to be a litmus test for the government's ability to attract -- and protect -- foreign investors.

Barrick Gold is poised to mine an area known as Reko Diq in the Chagai district of Balochistan Province, home to one of the world's largest undeveloped deposits of copper and gold. A formal deal with the government is expected to close this month, to be followed by a feasibility study later this year. Production would likely start in five years.

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