JOHANNESBURG – JSE-listed coloured gemstone producer Gemfields has agreed to pay £5.8 million (R103.6m) to settle claims of human rights violations to the Montepuez Ruby Mining (MRM) in northern Mozambique.
The agreement was on a no-admission-of-liability basis and would be paid to English human rights law firm Leigh Day, the company said yesterday.
In addition to the settlement, Gemfields announced plans to establish a new and independent operational grievance mechanism (OGM) in keeping with industry best practice and as advocated by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
The OMG would ensure that community members are able to raise grievances at the mine and its implementation would be overseen by international experts.
Leigh Day brought the claims on behalf of 273 Mozambicans who alleged that they, or their relatives, were victims of serious human rights abuses at or around the mine, a joint venture between Gemfields and its Mozambican partner, Mwiriti.