(Ecofin Agency) - Botswana paid $45 million to the Russian company Norilsk Nickel to settle a disagreement concerning the cancellation of Nkomati mine transaction by the state-owned company BCL.
The information was confirmed today March 9, to Reuters, by the country’s mines minister Sadique Kebonang (photo), who said that the payment was approved by a presidential directive on Jan. 24, 2018.
For the record, in October 2016, BCL reconsidered its decision to acquire 50% of the South African Nkomati mine, a deal it had concluded with the giant Russian company since 2014. It explained that because of severe financial difficulties, it could no longer “afford to pay the transaction cost” valued at $279 million. Because of this decision, Norilsk sued BCL and Botswana, requiring $271 million as compensation.
For the record, Nkomati mine, located in Mpumalanga province, is the only primary nickel producer in South Africa with 241 Mt of measured and indicated resources at an average grade of 0.35% nickel and 0.14% copper.