Botswana sells troubled state-owned mine to Canada’s Premium Nickel Resources

Aerial view, Gabarone, Botswana. Stock image.

Canada’s Premium Nickel Resources (PNR) will buy Botswana’s defunct, state-owned BCL copper mine with a view to restarting operations within three years, Minister of Minerals, Green Technology and Energy Resources Lefoko Moagi said late on Tuesday.

PNR was awarded an exclusive right to undertake six months of due diligence on BCL, placed under liquidation in 2016, in February.

It has now signed a deal to purchase two of the three shafts at the site and some associated infrastructure, Moagi said, without disclosing a value.

“All the assets that have not been purchased by PNR such as the smelter and dumps will undergo another bidding process by the liquidator,” Moagi said.

He added that PNR was negotiating a separate deal to buy another mine owned by the BCL Group, Tati Nickel Mine.

BCL liquidator Trevor Glaum said in February that, subject to a feasibility study, PNR will start construction and commissioning of mining infrastructure to prepare for operating, with investment expected to top $400 million.

At its peak, BCL Mine produced an average of 40,000 tonnes of copper and nickel annually before high operating costs and low international commodity prices prompted its liquidation in 2016.

(By Brian Benza; Editing by Emma Rumney and Jason Neely)


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