Mozambique: Suspension of devastating mining operations welcome but affected community must get justice

Responding to the Mozambican government’s decision to suspend the mining operations of Chinese mining company Haiyu after Amnesty International exposed the human cost of the company’s irresponsible practices, Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa, said:

Haiyu’s irresponsible practices have devastated lives in the coastal village of Nagonha, likely contributing to flash floods that put more than one thousand people at serious risk of being washed into the Indian Ocean
Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa

“Haiyu’s irresponsible practices have devastated lives in the coastal village of Nagonha, likely contributing to flash floods that put more than one thousand people at serious risk of being washed into the Indian Ocean and left hundreds of people homeless.

With so many lives at risk, the decision by the government of Mozambique to suspend Haiyu’s mining operation is a welcome move
Deprose Muchena

“With so many lives at risk, the decision by the government of Mozambique to suspend Haiyu’s mining operation is a welcome move. 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.

Background

On 28 March 2018, Amnesty International released a report on the irresponsible mining activities of a Chinese mining company, Haiyu, in Mozambique. The mining process has put an entire coastal village of more than a thousand people at serious risk of being washed into the Indian Ocean in Nagonha, Nampula province.

The report, Our lives mean nothing: the human cost of Chinese mining in Nagonha, Mozambique, exposes how the operations of mining company, Haiyu, likely contributed significantly to a flash flood in 2015 in the village of Nagonha, which destroyed 48 homes and left 290 people homeless. 

Haiyu did not conduct a proper environmental impact assessment or consult with the community prior to establishing its business, despite international law and national legislation requiring it to do so.