Friday, July 30, 2021

Tombale quits troubled BCL board

The chairman of the board of directors of the troubled copper nickel miner, BCL, Dr Akolang Tombale has retired from his post. Tombale, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Botswana Meat Commission (BMC), has been on the BCL board for a period surpassing ten years. 

As per the regulations guiding the operations of the BCL board, the non executive directors are elected every year with three board members targeted to retire each year. However any of the board members can offer themselves for a re-election.  Although he was eligible for re-election, Sunday Standard has been informed that Dr Tombale has since opted out. 

In a brief telephonic interview on Friday, Dr Tombale confirmed that he has since taken a decision not to offer himself for a re-election to the board of directors. 

“It is indeed true, I will not seek re-election to the BCL board”, Tombale said Friday. 

The Board of Directors of the cash stripped Selebi Phikwe based copper nickel mining company is composed of Eight(8) non executive directors, whose expertise cover a broad range of industries. 

The Board meets at least three times a year and retains full and effective control over the company, monitors the executive management and ensures, by having a definition of materiality on matters such as the acquisition and disposal of assets, investments, capital projects and authority levels, that decisions on material matters are in its hands.

On Friday Tombale briefly explained that the decision by the government to let the newly established minerals company to take over the role of overlooking government investment in the mineral sector was part of the reason why he decided to call it a day. 

He denied being pushed out as a result of poor performance of the copper nickel company which recently incurred a fatal accident that claimed four miners. 

“I do not run away from problems. I leave a proud chairman of BCL”, Tombale confessed in a rather soft tone.  

He stressed that he had to give way for a possible restructuring of the BCL board by the Minerals Development Company Botswana. 

Tombale spent most of his work years at the Department of Geological Survey before he was appointed director of Waters Affairs in 1998. 

Born on May 17, 1954 in Bobonong, Tombale did his MSc (economic geology) at the University of British Columbia in Canada from 1982 to 1984. 

Three years later he went for a doctorate in economic geology, which he completed in 1992 at the Memorial University of Newfoundland also in Canada. 

Tombale’s doctorate had something to do with a project, which reviewed the mineralisation of the Tati Greenstone belt in the northeast of Botswana. 

He initiated, designed and carried out this mineral assessment project between 1989 and 1992. 

Some of his achievements while at Water Affairs include participating in negotiations that led to the formation of the Revised Protocol on Shared Watercourses of the Southern African region. 

Elsewhere Tombale was the Chairperson of the Botswana Power Corporation Board of Directors and member of the Water Utilities Corporation Board of Directors from 1998 to 2001.  From 2001 to 2007 he was also the Deputy Chairman of the Debswana Diamond Company, becoming its Chairman in 2007. Dr Tombale also served as the Deputy Chairman of Botswana Ash (2001-2008) and member of the De Beers Board of Directors (2001-2008). Dr. Tombale has led a number of groundbreaking negotiations for Botswana including the development of Independent Power Producers in the country, and creation of policies and procedures for establishing Botswana as a centre for the downstream diamond activities. It is not yet clear who will replace him at the BCL board. 

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