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Three firms make offers for Tati Nickel

CHAKALISA DUBE
Tati Nickel could soon change hands
FRANCISTOWN: Three mining companies have submitted indicative offers to purchase Tati Nickel Mining Company (TNMC), BusinessWeek has established.

TNMC liquidator, Nigel Dixon-Warren has in recent months been trying to sell the Mine to no avail. Prospective buyers have in the past either pulled out before sale negotiations could take off or failed to put convincing offers to buy the Mine, which closed in October 2016.

“The indicative offers are more promising than the previous ones we have had. One of the three companies that have bid for the mine is a prominent player internationally in relation to mining. The other two companies are also well known and have relatively strong international links as well,” Dixon-Warren told BusinessWeek in an interview.

“Once we have assessed the indicative offers, we will choose the one that is worth pursuing and look at the possibility of completing the sale of the mine timely. I however do not want to speculate on the time it will take to sell the mine,” he added.

Dixon-Warren declined to divulge the names of the three companies that have tabled indicative offers to buy TNMC.

“Their names cannot be revealed at this stage because of a confidentiality clause signed with them.”   

He also said he was not ready to

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name their country of origins.

Last month, 20 companies were given an opportunity to scrutinise details about TNMC with a view of tabling formal offers to buy the Mine. Only the three companies mentioned by liquidator tabled offers.

There is a likelihood that TNMC, which is a subsidiary of the BCL Group, will go into final liquidation on April 9, 2018 if it does not find a suitable buyer or if the court does not find convincing reasons to keep the Mine under provisional liquidation.

Although it has taken long to sell the Mine, TNMC is the BCL Group’s most lucrative asset, with reserves ready for cost effective extraction.

The Botswana Mine Workers Union and other stakeholders have regularly expressed displeasure at the length of time it has taken to sell mines under the BCL Group.

The unionists have gone as far as to accuse the liquidator of deliberately delaying the sale of the Mine in order to garner more fee income. On the other hand, the liquidator has maintained that offers to buy the Mine are not sound.

BCL Mine in Selebi-Phikwe was placed under final liquidation last year.



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