Rio Tinto restarts operations at Richards Bay Minerals in South Africa

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Rio Tinto is restarting operations at Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) in South Africa, following ‘a stabilisation of the security situation’ around the mine.

Rio Tinto halted all mining and smelting operations at RBM earlier this year following an ‘escalation in the security situation’ which also forced the company to declare force majeure on customer contracts until the safety and security position improved.

Rio Tinto chief executive Minerals Sinead Kaufman said the company has commenced the process of restarting operations at RBM, supported by the national and provincial government, the host communities and their traditional authorities.

“The safety and security of our people has been our priority throughout and we recognise the collaboration and constructive dialogue we have had with all stakeholders to get us into a position where we can restart operations and resume contributing to the host communities, KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa,” Mr Kaufman said.

“I also acknowledge the resilience and dedication shown by all our people at RBM over the past weeks.

“Operations will be ramping up to capacity as soon as possible. The overall impact of the suspension of operations, including the shutdown of furnace number 4 as announced on 21 July 2021, is still to be assessed. At this time, the force majeure declared on customer contracts remains in place.”

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