Russian nickel producer Norilsk Nickel on Tuesday said it would continue with the litigation against the Botswana government over the Nkomati and Tati facilities to recover around $277-million it says is owed to it by State-owned BCL.
Norilsk alleges that BCL failed to make a payment under an October 2014 share purchase agreement and was, subsequently, forced by the Botswana government into liquidation.
“We applied to the Botswana courts for a permission to defend our rights in London in 2016. It took the court over 16 months to consider this very straightforward matter.
“We are now left with a deeply unsatisfactory judgment which has denied us the ability to get on and resolve this dispute through impartial, international arbitration, despite our right to do so under our contract with BCL,” Norilsk Nickel Africa CEO Michael Marriott said in a statement.
Norilsk Nickel has filed a reckless trading claim against the Botswana government, seeking to declare it responsible for the liabilities of BCL and its entities.
This follows after the government, in October 2016, applied to the High Court of Botswana to have BCL and its entities put into liquidation.
In the following months, Norilsk Nickel submitted a Request for Arbitration to the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) to determine its claims and filed an application with the Botswana court seeking permission to begin and prosecute an arbitration in the LCIA in respect of its claim.