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Explosive warnings

Unearthing mining's dark side

Picture credit: Vulcan International

Good afternoon. The past week has brought more evidence, if more were needed, about the damaging effects of the open-cast coal mine operated by Vulcan International in Tete province’s Moatize district. The mine’s location next to the town of Moatize has long caused injury to people and property alike, but locals tell Zitamar News that the situation has got worse since Vulcan, a subsidiary of Indian conglomerate Jindal, took over the mine from Vale in 2019 - a change that another source says is due to Vulcan’s cost cutting. Explosions set off by Vulcan to break up rocks have allegedly been causing stones to rain down on nearby houses, causing severe damage in some cases. Explosions also took place under Vale’s management, but it seems to have taken more care to mitigate the effects. Vulcan says that it has suspended the explosions pending a review. But even if the hail of stones stops, the other harmful environmental impacts, like clouds of coal dust, are set to continue.

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Closing the mine looks politically unviable and would destroy not just mining jobs, but jobs in local businesses that depend on the mine to bring money into the area. As for resettling the locals, moving an entire town would be very expensive, and even if it were done, it is likely that many locals would sell their houses and move back to the mine, where at least there is opportunity.

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