Tethyan Copper, a joint venture between Chile's Antofagasta and Barrick Gold , said on Tuesday it had applied for international arbitration after Pakistan's Baluchistan province rejected a mining lease application for its Reko Diq project.

We have to initiate arbitral proceedings in order to protect our rights, Tim Livesey, CEO of Tethyan Copper Company (TCC), said in a statement.

However, he said, TCC was open for talks with the Baluchistan government to work towards an amicable, negotiated resolution of the dispute.