Large-scale coal mining and resettlements in Tete Province, Mozambique

While soon 6 million ha - more than half of the area of Tete province - will be covered by mining concessions, resettled families still haven't received proper compensation and what they have been promised.

<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns"><div class="less">Mozambique's Tete province comprises the inland Moatize coal mines and is a province very rich in coal. It is estimated that Tete holds around 23 billion tons of mostly untapped reserves.</div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none">Although the coal boom is still in its early stages, Mozambique already surpassed Zimbabwe and became the second-largest coal producer in Africa, behind South Africa in 2012. The Mozambican coal production has increased from 42,000 short tons in 2010 to nearly 5.4 million short tons in 2012. Several new infrastructure projects related to coal production are planned as well, which include a new coal terminal at the Beira port, coal export terminals in Nacala and a new port at Macuse.<br/><br/>Since 2009, a surge of foreign investment in Mozambique's coal sector has been taking place. Companies Vale, Rio Tinto, Riversdale and Jindal Steel from Brazil, UK, Australia and India have invested billions of dollars in the past decade and are expected to invest an additional 50 billion dollars in the coming 10 years.<br/><br/>The local population of Tete province has suffered from the coal boom, since large scale resettlements have been taking place since 2009. As a consequence, the communities have faced disruptions in accessing food, water and work, as Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports. Living conditions have decreased drastically, as many farming households who had previously been living along a river and were therefore self-sufficient, have now been resettled to sites 40 km away from the markets in Moatize, with agricultural land of uneven quality and unreliable access to water. Food insecurity and dependence on food assistance provided by the mining companies has become a serious issue for the families.<br/><br/>On 10 January 2012, an estimated 500 residents from the resettlement village Cateme from the company Vale took their frustration with the lack of response from the company to the streets, protested and blocked the railroad linking the coal mine to the port. The demonstrations were shut down violently by local police. About 700 families had been resettled to the Cateme area between November 2009 and December 2010 and had recently been suffering from a lack of access to water, electricity and agricultural land occurring due to the resettlement.<br/><br/>In 2012, through interviews with 79 resettled and soon-to-be-resettled community members and 50 government officials, company representatives, civil society actors etc., HRW investigated the impact of the resettlement process on the communities. Their report indicated that the resettlements have had “negative impacts on community members' standard of living, including rights to food, water, and work”. It was found that residents were especially struggling to regain their former self-sufficiency. The resettlements that took place due to coal mining in Tete province cited in the report include 10 original villages (Chipanga, Bagamoyo, Mithete, Malabwe, Capanga, Benga, Nhambalualu, Cassoca, Xissica, Nhomadzinedzani) that had been and were to be resettled by companies Vale, Rio Tinto and Jindal Steel at the Moatize, Benga and Chirodzi mines.<br/><br/>In August 2012, the government of Mozambique took steps to improve communities' protection during the resettlements by issuing a resettlement decree. Nevertheless, the government did not consult the affected communities during the development of the decree, therefore critical gaps still remain.<br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>Large-scale coal mining and resettlements in Tete Province, Mozambique</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/mozambique">Mozambique</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Province</td><td>Tete Province</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Site</td><td>Tete Province</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>MEDIUM regional level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Land acquisition conflicts<br /> Coal extraction and processing<br /> Water access rights and entitlements</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><a href='/commodity/land'>Land</a><br /><a href='/commodity/coal'>Coal</a></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Details</td><td class="columns">Tete province holds an estimated 23 billion tons of mostly untapped coal reserves, with the natural resource boom still in its early stages. Mining concessions and exploration licenses approved by the government cover around 3.4 million hectares (34% of Tete province's area). When licenses pending approval are included, around 60% of the province's area are covered, representing a project area of around six million hectares of land.</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Project Area (in hectares)</td><td>6,000,000 hectares (including licenses pending approval)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Level of Investment (in USD)</td><td>several billion dollars (for several coal projects)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Rural</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Potential Affected Population</td><td>More than 7,000 (at least 1,429 households)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Start Date</td><td>01/01/2009</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Company Names or State Enterprises</td><td><a href='/company/vale-sa'>Vale S.A. <small>(Vale)</small></a> from <a href='/country-of-company/brazil'><small>Brazil</small></a><br /><a href='/company/rio-tinto'>Rio Tinto <small>(Rio Tinto )</small></a> from <a href='/country-of-company/australia'><small>Australia</small></a><br /><a href='/company/jindal-steel-and-power-limited'>Jindal Steel and Power Limited </a> from <a href='/country-of-company/india'><small>India</small></a><br /><a href='/company/riversdale-resources'>Riversdale Resources</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/australia'><small>Australia</small></a> - <small>mining</small></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>Government of Mozambique</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>Human Rights Watch (HRW):</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>Mobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Farmers<br /> Fishermen<br /> Indigenous groups or traditional communities<br /> International ejos<br /> Landless peasants<br /> Neighbours/citizens/communities<br /> Social movements<br /> Ethnically/racially discriminated groups<br /> Local scientists/professionals</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Blockades<br /> Creation of alternative reports/knowledge<br /> Involvement of national and international NGOs<br /> Official complaint letters and petitions<br /> Street protest/marches<br /> Refusal of compensation</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Health Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Malnutrition, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..) </td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Socio-economic Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession, Displacement<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>In operation</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Pathways for conflict outcome / response</td><td>Compensation<br /> Criminalization of activists<br /> Migration/displacement<br /> Repression<br /> Violent targeting of activists<br /> Application of existing regulations</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>No</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>By 2013, many of the resettled villagers and communities still felt misled and cheated by the outcomes of the resettlements which according to them, diverged significantly from what they had been promised. There also seems to still exist a lack of coherent, efficient complaint mechanisms, despite of the 2012 resettlement decree passed by the Mozambican government.</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">References</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Human Rights Watch (2012), Human Rights Watch Recommendations for Mozambique's Resettlement Decree, 17 September 2012,<br/><a class="refanch small" href=" " target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Human Rights Watch (2013), “What is a House without Food?”, Mozambique's Coal Mining Boom and Resettlements, HRW Report, May 2013,<br/><a class="refanch small" href=" " target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) (2014), Mozambique Country Analysis Note, Last Updated: July 2014,<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Mozambique families protest against Brazil's Vale, by William Mapote, Reuters Africa, 10 January 2012,<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Mozambique protesters at Brazil-owned Vale coal mine, BBC News Africa, 17 April 2013,<br/><a class="refanch small" href=" " target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Clashes at coal mine owned by Vale in Mozambique, by Cecilia Jamasmie,, 17 April 2013,<br/><a class="refanch small" href=" " target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> India's Jindal wins 25-yr coal licence in Mozambique, by Charles Mangwiro, Reuters, 4 February 2011,<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Mozambique: Mining Resettlements Disrupt Food, Water, Human Rights Watch, 23 May 2013,<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Media Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Human Rights Watch (2013), Mozambique: Protect the Rights of Farmers Resettled for Coal Mines, 22 May 2013,<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other Documents</td><td><table><tr><td><p><strong>Map of mining licences in Tete province</strong> Source:<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>08/07/2015</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>