The Global Resource For Connecting Buyers and Sellers

Gemfields evacuates exploration camp in Mozambique after attack

Africa-focused Gemfields (LON: GEM) (JSE: GML) said on Tuesday it had suspended operations and was evacuating personnel from its Nairoto exploration camp in Mozambique following an attack on a nearby village.

The company’s project is located in the resource-rich northern Cabo Delgado province, which has become the epicentre of Islamic extremist insurgency.

The violent rebellion, locally known as al-Shabab (though it is distinct from the similarly named group in Somalia), broke out in October 2017. 

Since then it has claimed more than 4,500 lives and displaced over 1 million people, mostly women and children.

It has also affected multibillion-dollar investments, including France’s TotalEnergies $20 billion liquified natural gas project, which the firm halted in 2021. Shortly after, it invoked force majeure after the insurgents attacked the town of Palma, very near Mozambique LNG project site.

The coloured gems producer said the attack to the village of Nairoto, located 15 km southwest of the Nairoto camp and about 83 km north of Gemfield’s flagship Montepuez ruby mine, happened shortly before midnight on February 12.

The company said Montepuez, in which it has a 75% stake, has not been impacted and remains operational.

After warning about insurgent attacks edging closer to its assets, Gemfields had to suspend operations at Montepuez for five days last year, following an attack at a nearby rubies operation.

Violence has also affected other miners in the region recently. In June last year, Australia’s Triton Minerals (ASX: TON) reported an attack on its Ancuabe graphite project site. Syrah Resources (ASX: SYR) briefly suspended logistics and staff movement at its flagship Balama graphite operation due to assaults close to its primary transport route.

Source: MINING.COM – Read More