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Insurgency Forces Gemfields to Evacuate Ruby Mine

October 23, 2022  |  Leah Meirovich
Rubies from the Montepuez mine in Mozambique. (Gemfields)

A rebel strike at a neighboring site has compelled Gemfields to pause operations at its Montepuez ruby mine in Mozambique.

The Cabo Delgado insurgency, which has been ongoing since August, moved closer to the company’s site, following an attack Thursday on a deposit belonging to Gemrock, approximately 12 kilometers away, Gemfields said last week. The miner is currently verifying details of the incident.

As a result, Gemfields has begun evacuating all operational employees and contractors and stopped all work at the site. Security personnel and Mozambique police forces remain at the mine, and the military is en route to assist, the company explained. The miner did not say when business would resume.

This is not the first time Gemfields has faced challenges at its ruby mine. In 2019, the company discovered illegal miners working for modern-slavery syndicates at the deposit. The miner also had a previous run-in with insurgency, when a mob of 300 to 500 people overran its emerald-exploration operations in Ethiopia in 2018, forcing staff members to flee.

Image: Rubies from the Montepuez mine in Mozambique. (Gemfields)

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Rubies from the Montepuez mine in Mozambique. (Gemfields) Insurgency Forces Gemfields to Evacuate Ruby Mine

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