1. Multi-Million Euro business with no benefits for communities: Tirupati Graphite buys Suni Resources and starts to mine Balama and Montepuez graphite

The province of Tete, in central Mozambique, is an example of how, if not properly controlled, the mining sector in Mozambique, can turn overnight from a blessing to a curse. The companies and their activities do not benefit local communities throughout the time of extraction. Even worse is the transfer of business from one company to another without state control, which adds to the risk of the country not retaining the capital gains from these deals. This happened recently in Balama, with the acquisition of all the assets of Suni Resources SA, by Tirupati Graphite, which allows it to be the new “excavator” of the development of the communities of Balama.

In Tete, the Brazilian company Vale mined coal for more than a decade. When the company left Mozambique after several years of success, it sold its entire structure to the Indian company Vulcan Minerals, undertaking to compensate the affected communities, which did not happen. In Balama and Montepuez, in the province of Cabo  Delgado, history is repeating itself. The company Tirupati Graphite plc, established in 2017, based in the United Kingdom, a specialist in graphite and graphene, announced that “on the 1st of April 2023, it successfully completed the acquisition of Suni Resources SA, incorporated in Mozambique, of all assets, infrastructure, permits, licenses and intellectual property associated with the start of the construction of the Montepuez Project and the Definitive Feasibility Study, Balama Central Project, Mozambique”. The total value of the operation is estimated at 12.5 million dollars, to be paid in a combination of $1.5 million in cash and 11 million in shares of 0.025 euros each. No one knows for sure how much of that goes to the state coffers and what are the benefits of the communities where the project is located.

Suni Resources started drilling at the project site in December 2014 and completed the conceptual study in February 2016. Initial results indicated there is good potential for the exploitation of economically viable graphite. The environmental study concluded that the population in the area relied on the use of natural resources such as firewood, planting and hunting, essential for survival. The study indicated a high risk of contamination from surface and stormwater, contamination of groundwater, as well as the destruction of biodiversity. The company says that the projects at Montepuez and Balama are strong additions to the company’s existing portfolio of graphite assets.

But mainly because the area has one of the largest deposits of graphite production in the world, with more than 12 million tons of graphite and could eventually supply 8% of global demand. Cabo Delgado has the largest graphite reserve in the world and supplies companies producing electric cars, such as Tesla. However, the workers are permanently dissatisfied with the conditions and wages.



2. Ramaphosa extends army deployment in Mozambique, DRC at cost of nearly R2 billion

President Cyril Ramaphosa has extended the deployment of South African troops in Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which will cost taxpayers close to R2 billion. Ramaphosa informed Parliament’s presiding officers of the move in a letter dated 6 April. In his letter to National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and National Council of Provinces Chairperson Amos Masondo, Ramaphosa said the deployment of troops in Mozambique would be extended to April 2024. The extension will be from 16 April 2023 until 15 April 2024, and the expenditure expected to be incurred is estimated to be R984 368 057, according to the president. The SANDF has a contingent of 2 500 soldiers and police operating in Cabo Delgado. In the volatile DRC, 1 198 soldiers will remain in the country until March 2024 as part of the United Nations

Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the DRC. The expenditure expected to be incurred for this deployment is R1 035 842 286. Earlier this month, Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Defence reported that the SANDF’s level of defence readiness, including its conventional and secondary military roles, was deteriorating and that it was in urgent need of redress to prevent the loss of capabilities and conventional obsolescence. The committee noted that a combination of maintenance constraints and a lack of investment in new prime mission equipment directly impacted the force readiness.

Taking the purse: Ramaphosa extends army deployment in Mozambique, DRC at cost of nearly R2 billion | News24



3. Muidumbe: Population Again On The Run

At least three insurgent attacks have been recorded in recent days in the town of Mianguelewa and two neighbouring villages, Muidumbe district, north of Cabo Delgado, forcing the population that returned just two weeks ago to flee again.

It confirms the fact that peace is still a long way off. A local source said that the insurgents, who for the past two weeks had been following the return to Miangalewa, decided to take action, with their raids on Litapata on Thursday (April 13), Mandava the next day (Friday) and Miangalewa on Saturday. The information received indicates that a patrol of local force managed to spot, in the village Litapata, a group of insurgents. Once the confrontation began, five insurgents were killed and one managed to flee. The next day, another group appeared in Mandava village, about 15 kilometres west of Litapata. A young man who was picking oranges, after seeing the group of five armed terrorists, immediately fled. When the group realized the escape, they began shooting.

On Saturday night, insurgents attacked Miangalewa village. One member of the local force was killed and two were wounded. The incursions are causing the five hundred or so civilians who recently returned to Miangalewa to flee to Macomia, which, despite the difficult conditions, has been hosting them since 2020. As recently as Sunday, many civilians were looking for cars that could transport them from Miangalewa back to Macomia. Hundreds of civilians returned to Miangalewa, an area that was once the centre of the conflict, because of recurrent calls from the local authorities for the return to places of origin, the difficult conditions in the reception centres, as well as the promises of settlement in the region.



4. Child Soldiers rescued from terrorist captivity are being rejected by their communities

Minors, rescued or who claim to have fled from insurgents, where they were used as child soldiers, are being rejected from their communities, on the grounds that they represent a threat. According to “Jornal Notícias”, the information is part of a survey carried out by the Provincial Service for Social Affairs and Partners, in some communities that host internally displaced people, as part of actions to prevent the use of children as soldiers.

According to the survey, the rejection does not affect girls, who have been welcomed with affection, as they are considered victims. To address rejection, the research suggests that communities should be more receptive, to facilitate their reintegration and to easily erase the traumas they went through from their minds.

According to data from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), made public on the International Day Against the Use of Child Soldiers, on March 31 of this year, in the city of Pemba, since the beginning of the crisis, children continue to pay a high price for the consequences of the conflict, including their recruitment and use as soldiers and sex slaves, in the case of girls. To reverse this scenario, UNICEF indicates that it has been supporting the Government’s efforts to promote the human rights of the affected population, with a special focus on protecting the rights of children. However, it also highlights that the fight against the recruitment and use of children requires concerted efforts and multiple actions by all actors, namely government authorities, and technical and financial partners.

Terrorismo: “Crianças-soldado” resgatadas do cativeiro dos terroristas estão a ser rejeitadas pelas suas comunidades



5. ENI moves ahead with the first exploration well in Angoche

The company Eni Mozambico SpA is preparing to execute the first exploration well in Area A5-A, off the coast of Angoche district, Nampula Province. The West Capella drilling platform, owned by Aquadrill, and contracted by the concessionaires in the area, is already in national waters and is currently on the verge of reaching the site of the research well. This follows the completion of the assessment of the oil potential in the concession area. The evaluation of the oil potential, culminated in the identification of the Raia well, which is expected to start up this April. One of the purposes of drilling the Raia-1 well is to investigate the presence of hydrocarbons in Tertiary turbiditic complexes. Area A5-A is located off the coast of Angoche, in the province of Nampula, at a water depth that varies from 300 to 1800 meters. With an extension of 4,612 km 2 , it is located approximately 50 km from Angoche, and 220 km from Nacala. The Consortium that operates in the area is currently formed by Eni Mozambico SpA which holds 49.5% of participating interest; Qatar Energy Mozambique, Limitada with 25.5%; Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos EP with 15.0% and Sasol Petroleum Mozambique Exploration Lda with 10.0% respectively.


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