Mozambique: Ruby Mining to Resume in Montepuez

Maputo — Montepuez Ruby Mining (MRM) has announced that it will re-open its main mining operations in Namanhunbir, in Montepuez district, in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado, as from the second week of March.

MRM shut down all its mining work, with the exception of critical operations, on 22 April 2020, because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to an MRM press release, a team from the Cabo Delgado Provincial Health Directorate recently assessed the measures undertaken by MRM in its mining concession to mitigate the impact of Covid-19, and the company accepted all the recommendations made by the health authorities to minimise the risk of infection.

"In line with the decisions issued by the health team, the MRM management planned a phased resumption of operations", said the MRM General Manager, Harald Halbich. "On 22 February 2021 preparations began to ensure that everything is ready for the workers to return without any problems".

MRM says it did not sack any of its work force, but it did suspend their work contracts. The company now says it will gradually lift that suspension, notifying the workers that they will be readmitted to their jobs.

The press release said that MRM was able to avoid dismissing any of its workers because of the financial support provided by the majority shareholder, the British company Gemfields, which owns 75 per cent of MRM. The other 25 per cent is held by a Mozambican company, Mwiriti.

MRM says that "despite the continual challenges faced as a result of the pandemic", it remains committed to guarantee "strong production and successful auctions of rubies in the 2021 financial year".

It adds that the workers' jobs are guaranteed, as are the company's tax contributions to the Mozambican state.

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