GABORONE, Dec.11 (Reuters) – Mowana mine, the only operating copper mine in Botswana, has suspended operations due to working capital constraints that have prevented the company from paying salaries and suppliers, a- she announced Tuesday.
Mowana had a $ 4 million conditional working capital facility from Fujax Minerals and Energy Limited, on which it had drawn $ 1 million.
However, Mowana and Fujax were unable to agree on guarantees when the mining company wanted to remove the rest of the facility, the company said in an earlier statement.
“We thought it would be fair to suspend operations while we try to explore other ways to get the funding. We hope that the situation will be resolved soon and that we can restart operations, ”said Mowana Managing Director Dominic Doherty.
The Mowana mine, which has a production capacity of 12,000 tonnes per year, is 60 percent owned by AIM-listed Cradle Arc. Cradle Arc reopened Mowana in 2017 following the mine’s liquidation in 2015.
Copper prices on the international market have recovered, but the Mowana mine, which employs 411 workers, has failed to capitalize on gains from equipment failures.
In October 2018, the mine produced 140 tonnes of copper compared to management‘s initial forecast of 392 tonnes as production was hampered by production shutdowns.
Botswana, Africa’s largest diamond producer, only has Mowana as its sole copper producer after the liquidation of the state-owned BCL mine in 2016, sending more than 5,000 workers home. (Edited by James Macharia)