JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Coloured gemstones company Gemfields has been transparently proactive in rebutting claims of human rights abuses in Mozambique, where it mines rubies.
“We’ve voluntarily elected to issue this statement,” Gemfields, headed by CEO Sean Gilbertson, commented in a release on Monday about UK-based law firm Leigh Day filing a claim in the High Court of England and Wales against Gemfields and its subsidiary, Montepuez Ruby Mining (MRM), on behalf of 29 individuals living near the MRM ruby mining licence area in northern Mozambique.
The company stated in the release to Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly Online that the court process had not yet commenced on account of the claim filed not yet being served on Gemfields or MRM.
Should the claim be served, Gemfields and MRM would vigorously defend themselves against the claim, whether in the English courts or otherwise, the coloured gemstones company revealed, as part of its commitment to transparency as a member of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (Voluntary Principles), collaborative principles set by governments, extractive companies and nongovernmental organisations that encourage respect for human rights.
Gemfields noted that a number of the allegations were a repeat of media coverage of 2015 and 2016 in South Africa, which had been ruled as “inaccurate, false and damaging” by the South African Press Ombudsman, who had ordered that an apology be issued.
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