The financial conundrums that is devilling the cash strapped BCL Enterprises is now hurting the Water Utilities Corporation (WUC). Information gathered by this publication has unearthed that BCL Enterprises, which owns the BCL and Tati Nickel Mines, owes WUC over P200million. The bill, which spans for two years, is said to have infuriated the WUC executives who threatened to disconnect the two mines last year December. The two mines were saved by Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Kitso Mokaila, who intervened and asked for the bill to be put aside.
“If WUC were to take BCL and TNMC to court, the two companies were going to be liquidated as they are facing a serious cash flow challenges,” said the source. The trouble for the two mines has been compounded by the commodity prices which have gone down with copper prices currently trading at $1.97 per pound. Over the past five years, the price of copper has fallen steadily from a high of $4.60 a pound in January 2011. The commodity prices were mostly affected by the impact of Chinese shadow lending which caused some volatility in early 2015 which saw copper drop below $3 a pound.
One of the problems, according to sources, that led to BCL owing millions of money to WUC is poor financial management at the two mines as they piled up water bills which accumulated to millions of Pula. Another government Parastatal that is being owed millions of money by BCL is Botswana Power Corporation (BPC). BPC which is also struggling has hit a hard rock when trying to demand their dues as they were told the copper mining companies are currently struggling. BCL Manager – Marketing and Public Relations – James Molosankwe said that they cannot divulge, discuss and broadcast any details regarding their engagement with any third party.