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MMEC 2024: Insecurity Limits MRM Operations in Cabo Delgado

MMEC 2024: Insecurity Limits MRM Operations in Cabo Delgado

Montepuez Ruby Mining (MRM), which mines rubies in northern Mozambique, pointed out that the insecurity situation in Cabo Delgado is still a major challenge, a factor that creates constraints in operations at a time when the mining company is preparing to increase production.

“We, as a company, are obviously not immune or insensitive to the current situation in Cabo Delgado province, which in some way has already been affecting our project,” declared MRM’s Corporate Relations Director, Raime Pachinuapa, on the sidelines of the 10th edition of the Mozambique Mining and Energy Conference and Exhibition (MMEC).

Although there are no records, at least publicly, of direct incursions by terrorists into the Montepuez district, where the company has operations, he pointed out that the limitations and fears linked to security jeopardise MRM’s “supply chain”.

The security concerns come in a year in which the company is preparing to increase its processing capacity, with plans to go from 200 to 600 tonnes per hour next year, as part of an investment recently approved by the company’s board of directors.

“The outlook for future production is good. As a result, we’ve already been doing some labour hiring to cope with this investment. We’re talking about around 400 new hires,” he emphasised.

Despite the positive projections, in addition to the impact of the insurgency in Cabo Delgado, the company has warned of the consequences of illegal mining in the region, denouncing what it calls the “modern slavery” to which many young people are subjected, at the behest of traffickers of precious stones on the international market.

Information released a few days ago indicates that the exploitation of rubies at the Montepuez Ruby Mining mine has yielded one billion dollars (63.2 billion meticals) since 2012, emphasising that in 2023 in particular, the entity had a total revenue of 151.3 million dollars (9.5 billion meticals).

MRM is a Mozambican company that operates a ruby deposit of approximately 33,600 hectares. “It is believed to be the most significant ruby deposit recently discovered in the world. It will have created more than 1,500 jobs locally, 95 per cent of which will be for Mozambicans, with 65 per cent coming from Cabo Delgado.”

Cabo Delgado province has been facing terrorist attacks for more than six years, which led to a military response since July 2021, with support from Rwanda and the Southern African Development Community, liberating districts near the gas projects.

After a period of relative stability, new attacks and movements have been recorded in recent weeks, leading foreign entities to restrict travel to that part of the country.

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The conference, organised by the Ministry of Mining Resources and Energy (MIREME), through the National Hydrocarbons Company (ENH), in partnership with AME Mozambique and AMETrade, is taking place in Maputo under the slogan “Partnerships for Prosperity: Unlocking Mozambique’s Resources to Advance National and Regional Economic Growth”. It lasts two days (2 and 3 May) and brings together government officials, businesspeople and experts in the extractive and oil and gas fields.


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