Rio Tinto ends months-long Richards Bay force majeure

Rio Tinto has ended the force majeure that it declared last June at Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) in South Africa following what it called “violent community unrest” in the area.

The miner declared the force majeure on 30 June 2021 for all of its customer contracts when there was an “escalation in the security situation” the month after RBM’s general manager was killed while traveling to work.

Operations of the mine and smelting were also idled after the incident, though work resumed a couple of months later.

“This marks an important moment in RBM’s recovery since the halt in operations last year,” said chief executive Sinead Kaufman.

“We must all remain vigilant and continue to strengthen our partnership with government and community stakeholders.”

RBM, in operation since 1976 in the northern KwaZulu-Natal province, is a joint venture between Rio Tinto (74%) and Blue Horizon. The latter is a consortium of investors and host communities Mbonambi, Sokhulu, Mkhwanazi and Dube. The remaining shares are held in an employee trust.

Source: Rio Tinto

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