Rio Tinto has announced that it would be resuming operations at Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) in South Africa that were curtailed in early December due to an escalation in violence in the communities surrounding the operations.
Rio Tinto said recent extensive discussions led by the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Sihle Zikalala, involving all stakeholders have resulted in the creation of ‘the stable environment’ necessary for RBM to resume operations.
According to Bold Baatar, chief executive, Energy & Minerals, a phased restart is now in progress across the operation, with RBM expected to return to full operations in early January, leading to regular production in early 2020.
“The safety and security of our people is always our first priority and we are pleased that we will now be able to get back to work creating value for our people, our communities, South Africa and RBM’s shareholders,” Mr Baatar said in a statement.
“I would like to thank the Government of South Africa and the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal for their support and assistance in getting us to a position where we can restart operations at RBM. I would also acknowledge the work of community leaders and the police over the previous few weeks.”