The government of Botswana is placing all its mining assets into a single private company that has a mandate to properly manage them and to make further investments in minerals locally and abroad, according to Paul Smith, CE of Minerals Development Company Botswana. Smith, a former employee of Aquarius Platinum and Wesizwe Platinum, was recruited in February and is overseeing the transfer of mining investments held in various ministries into the Minerals Development Company Botswana, which was formed late in 2015. The first assets to be transferred were the Morupule Coal Mine and BCL, which is in provisional liquidation. BCL had intended to buy Norilsk Nickel’s stake in African Rainbow Minerals’ Nkomati mine, a nickel operation in Mpumalanga. But operating one of the world’s most expensive underground nickel mines as prices dropped meant the deal would not continue, Smith said. In an interview he declined to be drawn on what would happen to BCL, but said there were parties intereste...

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