Gaborone – Botswana’s oldest state-owned copper mine, BCL, is expected to resume operations following its placement under final liquidation in 2017 due to non-profitability.
Secretary for Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Mmetla Masire, said the government had selected Premium Nickel Resources (PNR) to resuscitate the copper mining group.
PNR said it would start an estimated six-month systematic due diligence programme during which time it will complete an environmental assessment, a metallurgical study, a review of legal and social responsibilities, and other preliminary matters.
The company’s CEO, Mr Keith Morrison, said, “The world, Botswana and the mining industry have changed dramatically since mining first started at the former BCL assets in the early 1970s. The nickel-copper-cobalt resources remaining at these mines are now critical metals, required for the continued development of a decarbonised and electrified global economy.”
Mr Morrison said there would be extensive infrastructure upgrades with an emphasis on safety, sustainability and application of new technologies to minimise the environmental impact and total carbon footprint of the new operations.
“Our team remains committed to working with the local communities and all of the stakeholders throughout this period and we encourage anyone with questions or feedback to reach out to us directly,” he added.
On its website, the company says it is dedicated to exploration and development of high-quality nickel-copper-cobalt resources.
“We believe that the medium to long-term demand for these metals will grow through continued global urbanisation and the increasing replacement of internal combustion engines with electric motors. Importantly, these metals are key to a low-carbon future.”