Crunch time for Boseto

Koobonye Ramokopelwa - BG reporter
Tuesday, 16 June 2015
Crunch time for Boseto

Lenders of Boseto Copper mine, which is currently under liquidation, will today (Friday) vote on whether they agree with the offer put forward by Cupric Canyon Capital to buy Boseto Copper Project, it has emerged. BG Business understands that Cupric Capital, a company which owns emerging copper producer-Khoemacau Copper Mining, has tabled before Boseto liquidators, an offer of $31 million to take over the copper mine. Cupric Capital is a private equity company, which is backed by the investment banking division of Barclays Bank plc through its Barclays Natural Resource Investments team.

“Our shareholder (Cupric Capital) has made an offer to Boseto, if the deal passes, it will be good for us,” an upbeat Khoemacau regional manager, Johannes Tsimako said. He was speaking on the sidelines of the two-day resources conference this week in Gaborone. Boseto assets will come in handy since the mine is near their proposed copper mine (Khoemacau), pointed out Tsimako. If the lenders vote in favour of the proposal transaction from Cupric, the Khoemacau’s mine would then be integrated into Boseto. The integration will pave way for reopening of Boseto mine, months after it was shut down leaving employees in the lurch.

The copper mine was put under the hammer in March 2015 after promoters of the mine-Discovery Metals Limited-found out it was no longer economic to continue with production. The liquidation process is now before the high court that has a final say on who gets the mine. Due to rising operational costs, the balance sheet of the mine was not getting any greener. It is reported that the company owes lenders in excess of P1 billion. Some of the lenders include Standard Chartered, Credit Swiss and Caterpillar Finance.
It is not clear if former employees will get their dues from the deal.

Meanwhile, Tsimako, a former government technocrat, told the mining resources conference that they are currently undertaking infill drilling at their site near Maun. The drilling will pave way for the construction of the mine, which can take about two years before full- scale production. Resources estimate indicates that the area has 80 million tonnes of copper concentrates. Ahead of construction, the company has made plans on where to source water and power. The country is currently grappling with water and power shortfall.

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