March 9, 2018 / 7:58 AM / 2 years ago

Botswana pays Russia's Norilsk Nickel $45 mln to settle mine sale dispute

A man sits in the reception room of the office of Norilsk Nickel company in Moscow, Russia, January 28, 2013. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/File Photo

GABORONE (Reuters) - Botswana has paid Norilsk Nickel $45 million to settle a dispute after its state-run mining company pulled out of buying a stake in a South African mine from the Russian firm, the minerals minister said on Friday.

Botswana’s state-run BCL Mine pulled out of a 3 billion pula ($281 million) deal in October 2016 to buy a 50 percent stake in Nkomati Nickel Mine from Norilsk due to a lack of funds, prompting the Russian firm to file a legal claim.

Minster of Minerals Sadique Kebonang confirmed the settlement to Reuters and said the payment was approved through a presidential directive on Jan. 24.

Norilsk Nickel declined to comment.

Writing by Joe Brock; Editing by Ed Cropley

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