The new BCL Group Liquidators have received a P292 million funding from government for general administration of the estate, including the running costs of care and maintenance for the assets.
The Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Lefoko Moagi told Parliament that the liquidators have generated income amounting to P 25 million. He said for the period from 1 February 2019 to 31 October 2020, a total of P52 million was paid by government for rentals of the BCL and Tati houses.
He further revealed that in 2019, the new liquidators identified and sold certain non-core assets and scrap through an auction. He said the auction realized in excess of P 6 million, adding that further auctions will be held in future to sell scrap and non-core assets to be identified.
“It is anticipated that the Liquidator will identify a preferred bidder before the end of 2020, who in turn will conduct a detailed due diligence which will also include detailed re-designs to modify the existing assets or building new ones which are fit for purpose,” said Moagi.
Minister Moagi further revealed that at the time BCL Group was placed under liquidation, government initially advanced to the estate of BCL Limited in liquidation the sum of P 1.2 billion. He said out of this amount, approximately P600 million was used to pay pre-liquidation liabilities, being primarily BPC bills, water utilities bills and payment of the terminal benefits of former BCL employees. Moagi stated that the other money was spent on keeping the Mine under care and maintenance.
Moagi said the liquidators of BCL Group are engaged in prosecuting and defending various legal proceedings in the jurisdictions of Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa and England.
He added that the more significant and complex legal proceedings include the arbitration before the London Court of International Arbitration in which Norilsk Nickel Mauritius (NNM) has instituted claims against BCL Investments and BCL Limited for the alleged breach of a Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) entered into on 17 October 2014.
“The Botswana Geoscience Institute carried out an investigation on the earth tremors in Selebi-Phikwe starting June 2019 to September 2019. The study was intended to determine the causes, magnitude and frequency of the tremors,” said Moagi.
He further stated that the liquidators for BCL and Tati received three indicative offers for the assets and completed the evaluation of the offers, adding that the liquidators briefed the Ministry on the outcome of the evaluation and they have initiated a process for selection of a preferred bidder for approval by their supervisor, the Master of the High Court. He said it is anticipated that the liquidator will identify a preferred bidder before the end of 2020.