The success of Norilsk Nickel’s $277m claim against Botswana’s BCL miner and refiner, which is in liquidation, will be decided in an SA court that must find on the merits of a mining right awarded to BCL. In an acrimonious dispute in which Norilsk Nickel, Russia’s largest mining company and a leading source of palladium, has tried to shred the reputation of Botswana as Africa’s most highly regarded mining destination, there has been a standoff between the Russian company and Nigel Warren-Dixon of KPMG Botswana, who is leading the BCL liquidation. In 2014 Norilsk struck deals with BCL to sell its 85% stake in Tati nickel mine in Botswana and its 50% stake in SA’s Nkomati Nickel to the state-run nickel producer for $337m. The price was later dropped to $277m. Norilsk is chaired by Gareth Penny, the former CEO of De Beers, who knows the SA regulatory environment well. Norilsk suffered a setback when the Botswana High Court ruled that it had overstepped the mark by starting an internati...

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