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CIP: “Chinese Mining Causes Discontent in Mozambican Communities”

CIP: “Chinese Mining Causes Discontent in Mozambican Communities”

A study presented on Wednesday (28) in Maputo by the Centre for Public Integrity (CIP) concluded that the mining activity carried out by Chinese companies in Mozambique is causing discontent in communities due to the destruction of livelihoods and environmental degradation.

Entitled “Environmental Crimes Committed by Chinese Mining Companies in Mozambique”, the study analyses the activities of three companies operating in the provinces of Gaza (south), Zambézia (centre) and Nampula (north), between August and December 2023.

“Mining projects have a unique potential to accelerate the country’s development, but there is weak government oversight and little attention paid by companies to environmental issues, which results in the violation of community rights and discontent,” said CIP researcher Mery Rodrigues.

According to Rodrigues, the mining activities of the companies analysed have resulted in the loss of communities’ livelihoods, such as preventing access to agricultural fields, resettling people in areas prone to flooding and blocking access to water sources.

With regard to environmental crimes, the researcher said that the destruction of dunes and vegetation, alteration of environmental quality, with a negative impact on soil and water, blocking and diversion of water resources, causing coastal erosion and loss of biodiversity have been noted.

“The host communities of the mining projects are complaining about the ‘modus operandi’ of the companies, which have not improved the quality of life of the populations, on the contrary, they have reduced it,” she emphasised.

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Mery Rodrigues noted that, “over the last few decades, Mozambique has received several projects related to mining, which generate expectations for boosting the growth of communities and the country’s economy. However, they have been producing negative results”.

CIP called on the judicial authorities and the government to hold perpetrators of environmental crimes accountable and to step up inspections of companies in the mining sector.

“We recommend that the government strengthen measures to protect the environment and the rights of communities and that it step up the fight against corruption,” it concluded.

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