China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has disputed the claim that a Chinese mining company operating in Mozambique has violated environmental laws and put the lives of villagers in Nagonha, a coastal town east of Nampula City near the Haiyu corporation’s operations, at risk.
As African Times reported, MFA spokesman, Geng Shuang, said: “I want to point out that this organisation (Amnesty International) in question here is always biased against China, with its regular utterance of irresponsible remarks targeting China, its report has not the slightest credibility to speak of.”
The 81-page report released last week details Haiyu’s heavy sand mining operations, which have drawn ilmenite, titanium and zircon from the coastal dunes since 2011.
In the report, Amnesty says Haiyu altered the coastal landscape so severely that it is responsible for flood damage in 2015 that destroyed 48 homes and damaged another 173 huts. The report, the organisation claims, was based on interviews conducted in 2015 through 2017.
Haiyu began mining about 3 kilometers north of the village and continued Southwards, bulldozing sand dunes, clearing vegetation and dumping mining waste over the wetland. The company buried two major lagoons and the waterways that connected them to the sea, Amnesty researchers said.
“This is a classic case that highlights the struggles that poor communities face when big corporates ride rough shod over their rights and governments fail in their duty to protect the most vulnerable,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa.
China, however, disputes Amnesty’sfacts. “The Chinese government always asks its enterprises overseas to strictly follow local laws and regulations, feed back to the local society, and work for win-win outcomes,” Geng said.
Source: Africa Times