Vale Moçambique suspended work indefinitely on Thursday in Moatize, in Mozambique’s Tete province, due to protests from local people complaining about pollution, according to Mozambican television channel STV.
The channel broadcast statements by a local resident that the Brazilian group’s subsidiary Vale is exploring the coal mine very close to the village and that repeated detonations are damaging people’s health.
The company, which owns the largest coal concession in Mozambique, has been aware of the issue raised by the local population, and said talks are already taking place with the local authorities and the Government to solve the problem.
“From the outset, we knew that the dust issue would be a problem, since we are in an area where there is little rain and the climate is very dry,” said the company’s representative, who met with the local population on Thursday.
The company announced last August that it ended the first half of 2018 with US$7.9 billion in debt, an increase of US$100 million compared with the amount recorded at the end of the first quarter.