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Legalbrief   |   your legal news hub Wednesday 26 February 2020

Gemfields' Mozambique subsidiary denies abuses

Pallinghurst Resources’ wholly owned subsidiary Gemfields – a leading source of emeralds and rubies – stands accused of human rights abuses in Mozambique, charges CEO Sean Gilbertson strongly denies. A Business Day report notes human rights law firm Leigh Day has lodged a claim against Gemfields and its Mozambican operating subsidiary, Montepuez Ruby Mining, in the High Court of England and Wales on behalf of 29 people from in and around the mining concession in northern Mozambique. The allegations range from death and mistreatment of artisanal or unlicensed miners on the property to taking land without due process, often in collusion with security forces in the form of police or military. ‘You never want a situation where someone throws serious human rights allegations at your company,’ said Gilbertson. ‘We denounce violence and we go to great lengths to ensure that it doesn’t happen. We take the allegations very seriously,’ he said. Gilbertson said the claim against Gemfields had not been served on Gemfields or its Mozambican subsidiary ‘meaning that the court process has not commenced’. ‘Should the claim be served, Gemfields and Montepuez Ruby Mining would vigorously defend themselves against the claim, whether in the English courts or otherwise,’ Gilbertson added.