Friday, December 4, 2020

Now the Arabs want to turn BCL into agro-business

Potential buyers of the just liquidated BCL mine, Emirates Investments House (EIH) are interested in turning BCL mine into Agric-commercial project, The Telegraph has established.

The latest development suggesting that EIH intends to turn BCL into an Agric-commercial business was confirmed to The Telegraph by BCL Provisional Liquidator Nigel Dixon-Warren.

He told this publication that he performed his own due diligence on EIH and also received some information during the course of their diligence process.

“My understanding based on my interactions with them is that they are interested in Agric-commercial, Energy and Mining opportunities,” said Dixon-Warren.

The Telegraph has also turned up information showing that EIH has some interests in Agricultural projects.

According to the information on the company’s website, Emirates Agric Investments House (EAIH) of EIH Group is improving the generation capacity of agriculture in Abu Dhabi through fertility increases and this stands as an influential strategy mission for the company, where agriculture exhibits an important zone in the economy.

EIH’s main agenda is to tend for livelihood agriculture, strikingly in sylvan areas, where scarcity is more notable, hence, their sprouting agricultural sector devote for overall cultivation and what they called poverty palliation.

Investment in agriculture is of the company’s significant passion as it is examining a startling progression.

Garden Gallery Abu Dhabi and Abdulla Farm Abu Dhabi are the two division of EAIH Group, involved in Agricultural investment assignments.

EIH has a strategically plan to spread over their Agricultural services in other countries with the presence of many partners and clients- Botswana not exception.

Should the company succeed in the deal and turn BCL into an Agric-commercial project this could shatter the hopes of thousands of its former employees who are still hoping that an investor could turn around the fortunes of the mine and reinstate them.

Government of Botswana and BCL mine are yet to pay terminal benefits to the employees who lost their jobs when the mine was closed.

Botswana Mining Workers Union (BMWU) Secretary General Jack Tlhagale said they were expected to hold a meeting with government representatives on the this week to discuss terminal benefits.

Recently Dixon Warren issued a media statement which shows that he intends to dispose of the BCL Group preferably as a whole to an interested party who is able to recommence operations and return the BCL Group to profitability.

According to the statement, the intention is to dispose of the shares of Tati and the assets of BCL. Prior to liquidation, BCL comprised a nickel/copper mining, processing and smelting operation, whilst Tati was a nickel/copper mining and processing operation.

Both mines are currently under care and maintenance. BCL, located in the mining town of Selebi-Phikwe comprises four underground shafts, a concentrator and a flash furnace smelter whilst Tati, located near Francistown comprises two mining operations (underground and open pit) and a concentrator.

BCL owns a smelting furnace capable of smelting up to 900ktpa of concentrate per annum under ideal operating conditions.

In terms of through put, this is one of the largest furnaces of its kind in the world and has the added benefit of having the potential to be the lowest cost producer per tonne as it utilises the energy from the concentrate for smelting. The smelting furnace is adjacent to BCL’s mining and concentrating operations.

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The Telegraph December 2

Digital edition of The Telegraph, December 2, 2020.