The Mozambican Bar Association (OAM) has vowed to leave no stone unturned when they investigate the circumstances leading to the death of 11 illegal miners at Montepuez Ruby Mining (MRM) recently.

According to the government, the deaths occurred due to a landslide in a ruby mine and among the victims was a citizen of Guinea-Bissau.

It is understood that illegal miners are usually controlled by unions and intermediaries who take advantage of poverty and unemployment by financing young people in transportation, food and accommodation.

“The OAM, through its Human Rights Commission, has already set up a working team that will go to the scene of the facts to find out details of the situation,” according to the statement.

Advertisement

The organisation said that after the fieldwork, it will present the conclusions and suggestions that are relevant to avoid similar situations in the future.

The OAM said that in 2019, 14 illegal miners died buried in the same region.

The lawyers expect the government to carry out work to investigate and identify the heads and intermediaries of these unions to avoid exploitation of vulnerable groups and greater loss of life.

With the deaths registered on 4 February in Montepuez, more than 30 people have died due to accidents involving illegal miners in Mozambique since the beginning of this year.

MRM is the leading investor in ruby mining in Mozambique, with around 33,000 hectares of concession in Montepuez, 75% owned by Gemfields and 25% by Mwiriti Limitada.