The liquidator has received 47 expressions to buy Tati Nickel Mine but none of them were concrete offers, says the Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Eric Molale.
Tati Nickel Mine is currently under provisional liquidation and it is expected to re-open as and when the liquidator finds an investor. Early last year, the High Court broke new legal ground by ordering Tati Nickel Mining Company out of liquidation in a move that its liquidator, Nigel Dixon-Warren said was "unprecedented, incomprehensible, unfathomable”.
“It is the duty of the liquidator as part of his care and maintenance programme to preserve the assets of the mine including mineral resources and mine equipment.
“Government, through my ministry, has provided funding to the liquidator to carry out this function. As previously reported in this house, I have appointed a task team to work with the liquidator to amongst others ensure the preservation of all mine assets,” Molale said.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Jwaneng/Mabutsane Shawn Ntlhaile asked the minister if he did not find the new mining policy of privatising under the pretext that mining assets are not profitable would lead to the nation’s assets falling in the hands of a few people (particularly the rich) and increase the gap between the poor and the rich.
The MP for Gaborone North Haskins Nkaigwa asked the minister how he qualifies that indeed out of the 47 offers that the liquidator received, none followed up with a concrete offer. He also stated that they had received information that the liquidator was not willing to have an agreement with anyone to buy Tati Nickel Mine. He accused the liquidator of fundraising and at that for the ruling party, as Nkaigwa said the liquidator had done so in the past where companies were drawn into fundraising for elections.
In his response, Molale said he would not cast suspicion on anyone. He instead pleaded with Nkaigwa to ask for information where needed. The minister said that he was aware that of the 47 offers, none of them came up with concrete follow-ups. He dismissed claims of fundraising for the ruling party.
The minister was responding to the MP for Francistown South Wynter Mmolotsi who asked when Tati Nickel Mine would be opened. He also asked how many investors have shown interest in buying Tati Nickel Mine and what the ministry was doing to ensure that machines at the mine were maintained and remained operational during its temporary shutdown.