July 25, 2017 / 10:30 AM / 2 years ago

Botswana hopes to strike deal with Norilsk soon over Nkomati mine

GABORONE, July 25 (Reuters) - Botswana aims to resolve a dispute with Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) next month over a failed deal in which the country’s BCL Mine was to buy the Russian firm’s 50 percent stake in the Nkomati mine.

“Due diligence and valuation exercises are being carried out to establish the value of the Nkomati assets as a basis for negotiating a commercially acceptable solution to the parties involved,” Botswana’s Mineral Resources Minister Sadique Kebonang said on Tuesday.

Nornickel is suing Botswana for $271 million over the failed deal to sell the Nkomati Mine in South Africa, which is the Russian company’s last African asset.

The due diligence and valuation is expected to conclude by Aug. 15, and negotiations with the Russian group will follow thereafter, Sadique said.

“Nornickel welcomes the Botswana government’s intention to solve the question of the Nkomati purchase and hopes for a quick settlement of the situation,” the company said in an emailed statement to Reuters after the minister’s comments. (Additional reporting by Polina Devitt in Moscow; Writing by Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by Ed Stoddard and Alexander Smith)

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