Friday, September 18, 2020

BCL liquidator scoffs BOD claims

The BCL liquidator Nigel Warren-Dixon has pooh poohed claims by Botswana Diamonds (BOD) that it has lodged a proposal to buy BCL shares in a diamond exploration joint venture, Maibwe Diamonds.

BOD last week made a public pronouncement during the 2018 Botswana Resource Sector Conference held in Gaborone, that it intends to buy liquidated BCL Mine’s shares in a diamond exploration joint venture, Maibwe Diamonds.

BOD Managing Director, James Campbell told the mining conference that, “we have put in an offer to the liquidator of BCL and we hope to get a response in the next few months.”

Campbell indicated that BCL was currently compiling a prospectus with a view to selling their stake, and BOD had approached the liquidator with several possibilities.

It is understood that, BCL mine group, which has been under liquidation since 2016, is selling its 51 percent stake in Maibwe Diamonds for an undisclosed amount.

The Maibwe JV consists of a block of ten licenses, which are located in the Central Kalahari region of Botswana.

Contacted by Sunday Standard to confirm BOD claims and the worth of the stake in question, the liquidator, Nigel Warren-Dixon last week dismissed the intimation. His response to this publication was, “No formal offer has been made to the provisional liquidator of BCL Investments, who owns the shares in Maibwe Diamonds, by BOD or any other party. The provisional liquidator is not in formal discussions with any party to sell the shares of Maibwe Diamonds.”

Warren-Dixon said the value of Maibwe has not even been determined.  There is considerably more work to be done before the provisional liquidator is in a position to dispose of any assets including the shares in Maibwe Diamonds, from what Warren-Dixon said.  Furthermore, assets of a company in liquidation can only be sold after the second meeting of creditors. Sunday Standard has learnt that, BCL Investments has not yet had its first meeting.

When contacted to confirm if they still stand by their statement, the London based, BOD Executive Chairman, John Teeling was quick to say, “I regret that we cannot add to what we have said.”

Speculation is rife that a number of industry players have shown interest in the Maibwe stake, but the suitors are still playing their cards close to the chest.

With Teeling now choosing to remain mum on pronouncements he made last week, it could be that his company spilled it out before it was ripe.

The other partners in Maibwe are local consortium Future Minerals that holds a 20 percent stake and private South African venture Siseko, which has a 29 percent stake. Siseko is 51 percent owned by BOD.

The Court of Appeal sometime in May 2018 overturned the High Court decision to dismiss the provisional liquidation order to take Tati Nickel Mine out of provisional liquidation.

The High Court took the company out of liquidation in April 2018 following the lapse of the last extension.

But Botswana’s Court of Appeal said the High Court had failed to weigh the consequences of returning an insolvent company with no income stream to service its debts.

As a result, Tati Nickel Mining Company has been placed back in provisional winding up and the matter was handed back to the High Court to determine if the request for the provisional liquidation order to be extended will be granted. The High Court has not yet set a date for this hearing.

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