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Vale Obliged to Pay One Billion Meticals in Compensation to Communities in Moatize

Vale Obliged to Pay One Billion Meticals in Compensation to Communities in Moatize

The Mozambican Bar Association (OAM) has demanded that Brazilian company Vale pays one billion meticais to about 760 families that lived near the mine it operated in Moatize, in the centre of the country.

These are families that lived in the community of Cateme, one of those affected by the company’s activities, and that have been relocated in “precarious and problematic” situations, indicates a statement from the Mozambican Bar Association (OAM) cited by Lusa, which requested the Administrative Court to sentence the mining company in 2020 and is awaiting the outcome of the case.

“OAM has found that housing conditions in the resettlement areas still remain precarious and problematic, in addition to the fact that the land allocated to these families is stony and unsuitable for the practice of agriculture and the communities face serious problems of hunger, access to water, transport and alternative sources of income for their own sustenance,” the note said.

According to OAM, the transfer of families from the Cateme community, in August 2010, was conducted in an “unfair and abusive” way, considering that “the compensation to which they are entitled has not been paid in full”.

“The material and non-material damages suffered by the families affected by Vale’s activity are various and incalculable. The behaviour of this mining company has created psychological and emotional trauma in the affected families, in addition to having lost their means of support and subjected to a situation of worsening their state of impoverishment,” the note adds.

In total, between 2010 and 2011, 1,365 families from neighbourhoods close to Vale’s mine were relocated, and of this number, 760 are part of Cateme, a community that will have been housed in precarious conditions, according to OAM, adding that it has already “filed significant legal proceedings against mining company Vale, both to make information of public interest with an impact on the living conditions of the communities available.”

Meanwhile, Lusa tried unsuccessfully to obtain a statement from Vale.

In December, Brazilian mining company Vale announced it had sold its operation in Mozambique to Vulcan Minerals for US$270 million, consummating the disposal of coal assets and consequent exit from the African country.

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The completion of the deal is subject to approval by the Mozambican government and Vale said it is “committed to working together with the governments of Mozambique and Malawi to ensure a smooth transition to the new operator.

Vale has been present in Mozambique for 15 years, having implemented the operation of the Moatize mine and 912 kilometres of railway in the Nacala Logistics Corridor for the transport of coal.

Vulcan is an Indian private company that is part of the Jindal Group, with a market value of US$18 billion, and is already present in Mozambique, operating the Chirodzi mine, located in the Tete Basin, an open pit mine.

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