Our lives mean nothing: the human cost of Chinese mining in Nagonha, Mozambique

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs disputed the charge that a Chinese mining company operating in Mozambique has violated environmental laws and harmed the lives of villagers in Nagonha, a coastal town east of Nampula City near the Haiyu corporation’s operations. The report details Haiyu’s heavy sand mining operations, which have drawn ilmenite, titanium and zircon from the coastal dunes since 2011. Amnesty charges that Haiyu altered the coastal landscape so severely that it is responsible for flood damage in 2015 that destroyed 48 homes and damaged another 173 huts. The report was based on interviews conducted in 2015 through 2017. Haiyu began mining about 3 kilometers north of the village and continued south toward it, bulldozing sand dunes, clearing vegetation and dumping mining waste over the wetland. The company buried two major lagoons and the waterways that connected them to the sea, Amnesty researchers said.