Botswana sells ailing state mine to Canada’s Premium Nickel Resources

GABORONE, September 29 (Reuters)Canadian company Premium Nickel Resources (PNR) will buy Botswana’s former state-owned BCL copper mine with a view to restarting operations within three years, the Minister of Minerals, Green Technologies and Minerals said on Tuesday. of Energy Resources, Lefoko Moagi.

PNR was granted the exclusive right to undertake six months of due diligence on the BCL, which went into liquidation in 2016, in February.

He has now signed an agreement to purchase two of the three wells at the site and some associated infrastructure, Moagi said, without disclosing any value.

“Any assets that have not been purchased by PNR, such as the smelter and landfills, will be subject to another bidding process by the liquidator,” Moagi said.

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

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

At its peak, the BCL mine was producing an average of 40,000 tonnes of copper and nickel per year before high operating costs and low international commodity prices led to its liquidation in 2016.

(Reporting by Brian Benza; editing by Emma Rumney and Jason Neely)

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