GABORONE May 2 Botswana hopes to end a lawsuit
with Russia's Norilsk Nickel by helping Emirates
Investment House (EIH) buy a disputed 50 percent stake in the
Nkomati nickel mine in South Africa, a government minister said
Botswana's state-run BCL Mine pulled out of a 3 billion pula
($281 million) deal to buy a 50 percent stake in Nkomati Nickel
Mine from Norilsk Nickel Africa last year after falling into
severe financial difficulties.
Norilsk Nickel filed a lawsuit against the government of
Botswana last week in an effort to recoup $271 million in
damages it says it is owed from the aborted sale.
EIH is expected to conclude due diligence on the Nkomati
mine by the end of the week, Minerals Minister Sadique Kebonang
said. EIH has been conducting a similar process on BCL’s other
assets for the past month.
"We are not worried about the lawsuit against government.
Our intention is the find a buyer for the BCL," Kebonang told
Reuters. "If a deal can be agreed and the funds are enough, we
will pay off Norilsk and the lawsuits can then be withdrawn."
(Writing by Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by Joe Brock)