He is in Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s inner circle and hence whatever the MP for Tati East Samson Moyo Guma says carries weight. On Monday while debating the State of the Nation Address (SONA) Guma made a startling statement that BCL Mine will not be opened in near future. “Let us stop talking about seeing BCL waking up tomorrow, it will not happen,” hit out Guma prompting Vice President Masisi to swing his seat and look at him as if saying ‘what are you saying?’ Guma repeatedly stated that BCL Mine is dead, insisting that the MP Selibe-Phikwe West Dithapelo Keorapetse should have long told his constituents. “Tell people the truth so that they can condition themselves. They know that at some point in time jobs come and jobs go. Let us stop talking about seeing BCL waking up tomorrow, it will not happen,” hit out Guma. He dismissed suggestions that the decision to close BCL mine was solely taken by Cabinet, noting that even SPEDU declared that BCL was dead. “According to the report from SPEDU, they painted a gloomy picture of BCL. In their view it should have long being closed,” said Guma. He said that the only mine that has hope is Tati Nickel Mine which will need cash injection and undergo underground mining at an estimated cost of P4 billion.
Guma’s statement contravenes government’s position that they are looking for investors for the mine. His statement was also nullifying those of the Leader of Opposition Duma Boko who in his response to SONA said in the first 12 months his Umbrella for Democratic Change Government will create 100 000 jobs and part of it will be done by re-opening BCL mine. “Under current conditions, a UDC government will deliver 100,000 jobs within the first 12 months of assuming office. To achieve this we shall do the following: Get BCL back into operation. That will deliver about 5,000 direct jobs in BCL and a further 15,000 jobs in the rest of the local economy and the SPEDU region. This is our real measure of the recklessness of closing BCL in the first place without a rigorous economic and social impact assessment,” said Boko. When government decided to put the mine under liquidation, the workers were promised that there were some investors who were interested in running the mine thus keeping their hopes high. Initially government through ministry of Minerals, Energy Security and Green Technology offered BCL Mine to Emirates Investment House (EIH) but the deal did not take off. The recent liquidation report has also recommended that the BCL Mine be closed and its assets be sold in a piecemeal. “Plans have also been made for piecemeal disposal which includes necessary assessments and studies to undertake a closure of the mine and/or find alternative post-closure usage for the assets should the efforts to sell the BCL Sale Assets be unsuccessful. This is part of the overall LES being developed by the PL,” reads the report.