HARARE – Zimbabwe’s biggest oil mogul and top advisor to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Kuda Tagwirei has snatched 74 % shareholding in the country’s largest nickel operation, Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC).

ENN understands that Tagwirei has taken full control of BNC through Sotic International, a Mauritius-based firm that is linked to him.

The 74,73% stake was bought from Asa Resource Group, according to Muchadeyi Masunda, chairman at the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listed BNC.

Sotic owns Zimbabwe’s Landela Mining Venture, the owner of chrome, fuel and agricultural assets in the country.

Bloomberg reports that three companies had vied for Bindura Nickel, Masunda said in an interview.

It quotes Masunda saying the stake was worth between $60-million and $75-million. Asa is in administration.

The deal involves “a substantial payment” in cash and “a commitment” to provide working capital, according to Masunda.

While Zimbabwe’s economy is on the verge of collapse and its mining companies are struggling because of shortages of foreign currency and fuel, it has some of Africa’s best metal and mineral deposits. Bindura Nickel was once owned by Anglo American and has in the past produced about 6 700 t/y of nickel.

On October 29 Bindura said in a statement that the stake was sold to “a Zimbabwean based mining entity with interests in the mining and production of ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals and precious metals.”

Landela Mining was this month announced as a partner in a $4-billion platinum venture in Zimbabwe that’s backed by Russian investors.

Tagwirei didn’t immediately respond to calls made to his mobile phone.