IN early October Botswana’s main copper and nickel mining company Bamangwato Concession Limited (BCL) was put into liquidation, with depressed global prices for metals being blamed.
The Selebi-Phikwe copper mine was closed and more than 4,200 workers and several steam locomotives now have a very uncertain future.
BCL has operated a variety of steam locos over the last few decades, including second-hand 14A Class ‘Garratts’ and 19D Class 2-8-2s from Zimbabwe (ex-Rhodesia Railways) and was still operating North British-built 19D Class locos and South Africa (ex-South African Railways, SAR) in October 2016.
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