Mmegi Online :: Chamber of Mines against piecemeal sale of BCL
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Last Updated
Monday 27 March 2017, 17:30 pm.
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Chamber of Mines against piecemeal sale of BCL

FRANCISTOWN: Botswana Chamber of Mines (BCM) has recommended that assets under the BCL Mine group should not be sold piecemeal. The liquidator of the group, Nigel Dixon-Warren recently indicated that BCL would be put under final liquidation as it has been deemed ‘fatally’ insolvent.
By Chakalisa Dube Thu 26 Jan 2017, 18:00 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Chamber of Mines against piecemeal sale of BCL








The BCL Mine Group owns Tati Nickel Mining Company (TNMC) in Francistown, BCL mine in Selebi-Phikwe and BCL Investments, which was to acquire a 50% stake in South Africa’s Nkomati Mine.

When addressing journalists last week, Dixon-Warren said BCL assets could be sold as piecemeal or as a whole as early as July.

“Our view is that selling the BCL Mine Group assets as piecemeal will distort their value. In order to maintain the value of the assets under the BCL group, we recommend that they (assets) should be sold as a whole.

“Investors should also not consider buying BCL as piecemeal for reasons we have already stated,” BCM chief executive officer, Charles Siwawa said yesterday in an interview.

Siwawa added that apart from maintaining the value of the assets, a lot of factors should be put into perspective when considering the right option to sell properties of the mine.

“Let me say as an example, an investor comes in and buys TNMC mineral resources and leave the smelter. This may mean that if there is no taker of the smelter TNMC cannot utilise the smelter which means that there will be no jobs created,” he said.

“Another scenario is that

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even when there is a taker of the smelter, TNMC can choose not to utilise it because it is not obliged, it means there will be exportation of jobs to countries where TNMC will be doing its smelting,” he added.

Siwawa maintained BCM’s long time stance that the BCL Mine group will attract suitors. So far three firms both locally and from abroad have shown desire to buy the mine although they have not submitted formal bids.

“We still believe that the mine will generate significant interest. From the presentation made by the BCL Mine Group management, TNMC and BCL have a combined lifespan of 25 years which is why I believe that they will generate much interest,” Siwawa said.

In October last year, the government placed the BCL Mine Group under provisional liquidation while assessing its options. At the time the government,  which has a 100% shareholding in BCL, indicated that cash flow problems led to voluntary liquidation of the mine.

The BCL Group reportedly owes billions of pula to creditors. 

The mine according to government needed P8 billion to stay in operation, an amount of money it said it couldn’t commit owing to other commitments.

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