BCL said the measures it undertook last year to mitigate the impact of low commodity prices helped it weather storm as it managed to register an increase in revenues. The miner is financially sensitivity to price fluctuations, but it has put productivity strategies in place to steer clear of danger.
The company’s Managing Director, Dan Mahupela said it realised a growth of 4% in 2014 compared to 2013 as a result of firmer pricing, weaker Pula (to the greenback) exchange rates and strong cost containment measures executed.
“Although BCL remains a marginal operating mine with considerable financial sensitivity to nickel and copper pricing, the various cost containment, productivity and efficiency projects under execution have begun to bear positive results as evidenced by the improved 2014 financial performance,” the MD revealed.
There were significant price volatility last year with nickel prices averaging US$6.64/lb in the first quarter of the year, improving to average US$8.40/1b in the second and third quarters before collapsing to an average US$7.16/1b in the final quarter.
Mahupela added that the outcome for 2015 remains bleak following the collapse in prices in the final quarter of 2014. “Nevertheless, we have undertaken a number of decisive actions (relating to productivity and efficiency) to ensure that BCL remains a resilient organisation in a low nickel price movement.
“Despite this negative outlook, we remain confident that BCL will be a major employer and contributor to the Botswana economy as a whole and the SPEDU region specifically,” he promised.
BCL employs 4, 500 workers and is a major player in the SPEDU region and sustain Selebi Phikwe as the major driver of policy. The company wants to bring more jobs through its Polaris 11 plans that would bring thousands of permanent jobs to the area.
He has pleaded with Batswana to take these opportunities and become employers, rather than employees.