Rio Tinto ends force majeure on mineral sands project in South Africa


The logo of mining company Rio Tinto is pictured during their annual general meeting in Sydney, Australia May 4, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Reed

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March 18 (Reuters) – Rio Tinto (RIO.AX) said on Friday it had lifted declared “force majeure” on customer contracts at its Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) project in South Africa which had been hit by violent communal unrest Last year.

The company had declared force majeure on the project’s customer contracts in June 2021, due to what it describes as an “escalation of the security situation”, a month after the death of the general manager of the project on his way to work. Read more

Rio Tinto also halted mining and smelting operations at the mineral sands project, before restarting them a few months later.

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“This marks an important moment in RBM’s recovery since operations ceased last year,” said Sinead Kaufman, Rio’s general manager of minerals.

A force majeure event is triggered when a company cannot fulfill its contractual obligations due to unforeseen circumstances.

The Richards Bay Mineral Sands Project involves the mining, refining and smelting of heavy minerals or ore deposits that are primarily used in industrial applications.

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Reporting by Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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