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Norilsk nixes Nkomati sale to Botswanan state miner

PJSC Norilsk Nickel Co. terminated the agreement to sell South African assets to Botswana state-owned BCL Ltd., including a 50% stake in the Nkomati joint venture, citing "serious breaches of contract."

However, the company said Dec. 25 it will continue to seek damages from BCL to cover losses that it suffered due to the state miner's failure to honor its obligations.

Norilsk Nickel has ongoing litigation to recover about US$277 million in debt from BCL after it backed out of a deal to acquire the company's 50% stake in the Nkomati nickel mine and 85% of Tati Nickel Mining Co. Pty. Ltd.

Norilsk Nickel Africa CEO Michael Marriott said the company will pursue its own strategy in respect of the African assets.

The company's appeal against a ruling from the Botswana court denying Norilsk Nickel permission to fight the case in the London Court of International Arbitration will be heard in the Botswanan Court of Appeal in January 2019.