Maputo — The Mozambican Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy has ordered the temporary suspension of operations of the mining company Lalgy, which extracted sand and stone for building purposes in the Mafuiane administrative post, in Namaacha district, on the border with Eswatini.
According to a report in Monday's issue of the Maputo daily "Noticias", this is part of a campaign by the Ministry's general inspectorate against illegal mining operators, which has included seizure of equipment used in excavation.
The Ministry's General Inspector, Obete Matine, told reporters that Lalgy has been operating illegally, without any licence for the past three years.
"They were extracting stone and sand illegally", he said. "We also found they were not paying taxes".
This was the second inspection of Lalgy. Matine said the company had not complied with instructions left by inspectors on the first visit. "They are still operating outside the law", he declared.
Lalgy owes the state more than a million meticais (about 14,500 US dollars, at current exchange rates).
The company has been shut down temporarily, and the equipment found on the site has been seized. If it belongs to Lalgy (rather than being hired), it will be confiscated by the state.
The inspectors also found that the company was extracting more sand than the daily amount allowed by law, Some of its workers had no work contracts, and did not have any protective clothing.
The inspectorate is drawing up a criminal case against Lalgy, which will be submitted to the Attorney-General's Office.