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RichardsBayMineralsMining Weekly reports that diversified miner Rio Tinto has announced the curtailing of operations at Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) to ensure the safety and security of its employees due to an escalation in violence in the communities surrounding the operations.  

There has been an escalation of criminal activity towards RBM employees and one was shot and seriously injured in the last few days.  As a result, all mining operations at RBM have been halted and the smelters are operating at a reduced level, with a minimum number of employees on site.  Construction of the Zulti South project has also been temporarily paused.  Rio’s CEO of its Energy & Minerals division, Bold Baatar, said:  “We are in discussions with the local communities, regional and national governments, and the police in order to find a way to address the safety and security issues.  Our goal is to return RBM to normal operations in a safe and sustainable way.  We would like to acknowledge and thank the police and authorities for their support.”

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