Source: 123rf

Mozambique’s Cyclone Idai has left severe devastation in its path and asks the question – what impact has it had on the local mining operations?

Fortunately, one of the most prominent mining players in the country, Syrah Resources’ Balama graphite operation, has not been impacted by the cyclone, enabling the company to continue production ramp up with sales and shipping of graphite progressing as planned.

The cyclone made landfall near the city of Beira in the province of Sofala, which is over 1 000 km by road to the south of Syrah’s operations and port.

“Whilst Syrah’s operations have not been impacted by this cyclone, the destruction and death toll is significant in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. The Syrah team extend their deepest sympathies to those impacted,” says Shaun Verner, MD and CEO of Syrah Resources.

Kenmare operates the Moma titanium project which is situated near the cost but a substantial distance away from Beira where the cyclone made landfall. Because of its location, the mine is prone to severe weather damage however.

The company has just revealed that it has not been impacted materially by Cyclone Idai although the on-site team activated the cyclone preparedness plan to ensure that the company’s employees and assets were protected, and production continued without any significant interruptions.

Product loading activities and shipping were suspended for seven days, however they resumed on Friday, 15 March 2019, as sea conditions improved.

Kenmare continues to receive grid power as the power network in northern Mozambique was not affected by the cyclone.

Kenmare is deeply saddened by the news of loss of life and scale of damage, and is providing financial support towards the relief effort in Mozambique. The company’s employees have also initiated a collection scheme to provide clothing and dry goods for the people impacted by the cyclone.

Fortunately, some of the large-scale coal mines in the country are situated far inland and are unlikely to have experienced any damage associated with Idai.