It stated the measure was a response to escalating violence affecting the safety of its staff and amenities.
Rio Tinto also shut one furnace due to depleted stockpiles of feedstock and restrict the long-term impacts of a shutdown on the RBM’s furnaces
The pressure majeure stays in place, the miner said, including that operations can be ramping up as quickly as potential, whereas the impression from the suspension was but to be evaluated.
The event follows a stabilization of the safety scenario across the mine, the corporate stated.
The Richards Bay mineral sands undertaking contains mining, refining and smelting of heavy minerals or ore deposits
Historical past of violence
The Richards Bay mineral sands mine – wherein Rio holds a 74% curiosity – has seen several violent incidents over the years.
Operations have been halted twice in 2018 on account of violent protests by contractors, and in 2019, RBM was pressured to droop actions once more following the capturing of considered one of its staff.
Regardless of Rio approving the $463 million Zulti South undertaking to increase the mine life, the growth has been on maintain since 2019 on account of unresolved safety points.
In April, RBM officials said they have been in talks with the nation’s authorities to “completely tackle violent protests round its operations earlier than resuming work on the Zulti South undertaking.”
The newest incident forged additional doubt on regular resumption of actions at Richards Bay, however Rio stated at present’s announcement adopted the stabilization of the safety scenario across the mine.
RBM consists of mining, refining and smelting of heavy minerals or ore deposits. It produces predominantly ilmenite, rutile and zircon – supplies utilized in every little thing from paint to good telephones to sunscreen.
Richards Bay RBM is a three way partnership between Rio Tinto and Blue Horizon – a consortium of buyers and our Host Communities Mbonambi, Sokhulu, Mkhwanazi and Dube – which owns 24%. The remaining shares are held in an worker belief.