The Mozambican government has suspended the operations of the Chinese mining company Haiyu, according to Amnesty International, which in March accused the company of aggravating floods that displaced 290 people in the north of the country three years ago.
“With so many lives at risk, the decision by the government of Mozambique to suspend Haiyu’s mining operation is a welcome move.,” said Deprose Muchena, regional director of Amnesty in Southern Africa, in a statement.
“However, if the government of Mozambique is serious about protecting the human rights of the people of Nagonha, it is essential that the community is genuinely consulted in all discussions in order to facilitate equal and effective access to justice to all victims of human rights abuses.,” he added.
The issue concerned is the exploitation of heavy sands in the coastal town of Nagonha, Nampula province, northern Mozambique.
According to the Amnesty report entitled “Our lives mean nothing: The human cost of Chinese mining in Nagonha, Mozambique”, presented in Maputo in March, mining operations have transformed the topography of the area, affecting the natural flow of water and blocking the drainage system of the wetland areas.
Rains in 2015 destroyed 48 houses and made 290 people homeless as a result of the company’s operations, the report claims.
Haiyu’s environmental consultant, Amilcar Marremula, told Mozambican daily newspaper O País in April that the problems had been overcome.
Haiyu has been extracting minerals such as ilmenite, titanium and zircon from heavy sands at two concessions in Nampula province – Nagonha and Sangage – since 2011.Source: Lusa