Tuesday 23 January 2018

Production restarts at Kenmare Moma mine

The Moma mine, flagship operation of Irish company
The Moma mine, flagship operation of Irish company

Paul O'Donoghue

Irish mining company Kenmare Resources has announced that production has restarted at its flagship operation in Mozambique just over a week after it was shut down by strike action.

Production at its Moma mine in the north of the country had been temporarily suspended following "unofficial" industrial action announced on June 24.

Moma is one of the biggest ilmenite mines in the world. Ilmenite is used as a white pigment in the paint industry.

The industrial action was in response to cost-cutting measures being introduced by Kenmare, including a reduction in shift allowance.

Earlier this year the Dublin-based firm agreed plans with unions and the Ministry of Labour to make 162 workers redundant in the face of falling mineral prices.

Kenmare says the number of redundancies was reduced from an initial estimate of 350.

One of the conditions of the deal was a reduction in shift allowance, one of the contributory factors in the strike. The agreement is now being implemented on a gradual basis.

A statement from Kenmare said: "The company stands by the agreement made with the union and Department of Labour in March concerning retrenchment and changes to allowances. All employees have now returned to work."

The conclusion of the strike action will come as a welcome relief to Kenmare, which has already had trouble at the mine earlier this year. The firm had to temporarily repatriate South African workers at the mine amid unrest in South Africa about foreign workers. Earlier this year Kenmare announced that it made a loss of just over $100m (€90m) in 2014.

Irish Independent

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