The Nkomati Stake Sale –Bostwana Got Lawsuit filed by NorilskNickel

MMC (Mining Metallurgical Company) Norilsk Nickel is a Russian based nickel, palladium mining and smelting company. Norilsk Nickel has its largest operating companies in Norilsk-Talnakh area near Yenisei River in northern Russia. It also holds greater working part in southern Africa in Botswana, in Western Australia and also has holdings in western Finland at Harjavalta.

Norilsk Nickel African Group operation has Tati Nickel Mining Company in Botswana (85%) and Nkomati in South Africa (50%). In October 2014 both the groups declared the signed an agreement that includes African –establishedpossessions i.e. Nkomati and Tati Nickel Miningwill be traded to BCL Limited.

BCL Limited is a private mining and smelting company founded in 1956 and is based in Selebi-Phikwe, Botswana.  It produces low and high sulfur matte products that contain cobalt, copper, nickel, iron as well as platinum group metals.

On Friday April 28, Norilsk Nickel Russia revealed that it a lawsuit has been filed against the Botswana government to retrieve $271 million along with the other compensation. The Russian Company says that the Botswana Government owed them, due to the halted sale in the Nkomati mine in South Africa that holds a worth of 50% stake.

BCL Mine that is operated by Botswana State drawn out of a $281 million contract last year in October. Due to deficiency in funds, both the parties agreed on a deal in which it was stated to buy a 50% stake from Norilsk.

While talking to press, in a statement Norilsk stated that it had sanctioned a written notice of legal actions on the attorney general of Botswana, the minister of finance and the minister or mineral resources. The company declared that the government promised that the funding for the deal would be guaranteed by them but the state government made no useful efforts to fulfill the deal.

Michael Marriott, the chief executive of Norilsk’s Africa operations said in a statement that Botswana has had a respectable reputation for the investors to subsidize in the whole of Africa and on the basis of that it has procured the largest credit ratings among all the continents. But the government of Botswana has acted ignorant of the facts and the obscure behavior over BCL has brought their credibility into question.Also in a statement Norilsk Nickel Africa CEO Michael Marriott said that the government has overlooked the complete fair and rational dealing with outsiders which BCL’s penurious position requisite.

While talking to press, two people briefed on the lawsuit exclaimed that despite consent of the Nkomati deal at the peak level of the government, Botswana was familiar of BCL’s financial status. They knew that it was unable to outright the deal without state funds. Also in December 2016 Norilsk had a lawsuit filed with an official statement that BCL failed to regard its commitment under the business agreement.

However the Botswana officials didn’t respond to the lawsuit and it’s still on verge of ignoring the facts.

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