RichardsBayMineralsBusinessLive reports that Rio Tinto’s Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) mine, which was forced to close down two weeks ago due to violent attacks on workers, will resume production on Monday.  

The RBM mine is a subsidiary of the Rio Tinto and employs more than 5,000 workers.  Rio Tinto pledged R6.5bn in investment during the recent investment summit, which would essentially expand this facility five-fold.  In a statement last week, the company threatened to close down the mine and withdraw its pledge if the forced shutdown at RBM did not end.  This could have resulted in the loss of the 5,000 full-time and contract jobs and the thousands more envisaged in the planned expansion.  President Cyril Ramaphosa asked KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) premier Sihle Zikalala to resolve the problem and get the quarrelling sides to the table to find a lasting solution.  This resulted in meetings on Wednesday, which were attended by the KZN provincial government, Rio Tinto, trade unions and the various factions within the Richards Bay communities.  After the meetings, Zikalala indicated that all the stakeholders had agreed that operations at the mine should resume.  He added that government officials would hold an imbizo with local communities to explain the situation at the mine.  He said his government had assured the mine owners that their investments were safe in KZN.

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