11 June 2020 marks the 20th anniversary of the first metal casting at our Mozal aluminium smelter in Mozambique. 

The Mozal project was conceived when Mozambique was emerging from the devastating civil war, with the aim of using foreign investment to boost the national economy through beneficiation.It was also hoped that Mozal would stimulate further development in the Maputo area and drive the development of supporting industries.

The US$2 billion to build the smelter was the largest private investment in the country and also the first large, direct foreign investment. 

Construction of Mozal included a new berth at the nearby port of Matola, access roads and a bridge. A further expansion project saw the smelter double its capacity in 2003 and a new energy efficiency project is now underway that will further boost production with no associated increase in electricity consumption. 

Following the construction of Mozal additional foreign investment in Mozambique has continued to boost the economy, including the development of a downstream aluminium business. 

Mike Fraser, South32’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “I am particularly proud of Mozal’s continued dedication to local empowerment and uplifting its communities. Through a focus on training and skills development we have been able to increase local hiring over the last 20 years and today, 97 per cent of the smelter’s employees are Mozambican.

“The development of small businesses through capacity-building programs has enabled an increase in local procurement, helping to boost the local economy and prepare small and medium enterprises to supply other large companies.”

The Mozal Community Development Trust, which was established in 2000 with a US$34 million investment, has helped build schools, train teachers and provide finance to farmers. The Trust has also improved health in the Maputo area through a host of projects, including the malaria eradication program, the refurbishment of health clinics and most recently by donating medical equipment and improving facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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