Home » How Morocco’s Mining Industry Survived the Earthquake and Helped the Nation Recover  Salares Norte Mine in Chile Delayed

How Morocco’s Mining Industry Survived the Earthquake and Helped the Nation Recover  Salares Norte Mine in Chile Delayed

Aya Gold & Silver and Managem group report minor damage to their mines and plants and donate money and resources to support relief efforts

by Motoni Olodun

The recent earthquake that rocked Morocco on 8 September 2023, killing nearly 3,000 people and injuring more than 5,000, was one of the worst natural disasters in the country’s history. However, the mining industry, which is a vital sector of the Moroccan economy, was largely spared from the devastation and even played an active role in the recovery efforts.

According to Africa Intelligence, the mines and plants of the Aya and Managem groups, two of the largest mining companies in Morocco, did not suffer any major damage. Most of their sites are located outside the regions worst affected by the quake, which had a magnitude of 6.8 and struck near the town of Oukaïmeden in the Atlas Mountains. The companies reported only minor disruptions to their operations and resumed normal activities within days.

Aya Gold & Silver, a Canadian company that owns and operates the Zgounder Silver Mine in Morocco, said in a press release that none of its employees or contractors were harmed by the earthquake and that its mine and processing plant were unaffected. The company also announced donating $100,000 to the Moroccan Red Crescent to support the relief efforts.

Managem, a Moroccan company that produces gold, silver, copper, cobalt, and other metals in Morocco and several African countries, also expressed its solidarity with the victims of the earthquake and said it had mobilized its teams and resources to assist the local authorities and communities. Managem said it had provided food, water, tents, blankets, and medical supplies to the affected areas and had deployed its engineers and technicians to help restore electricity and water services.

The mining industry’s resilience and responsiveness in the face of the earthquake demonstrate its importance and potential for Morocco’s development. According to the World Bank, mining accounts for about 10% of Morocco’s GDP and employs more than 40,000 people. The country is also a leading global producer of phosphates for fertilizers and other industrial applications.

Morocco has been investing heavily in developing its mining sector in recent years, aiming to diversify its economy and create more jobs. The government has launched several initiatives to attract foreign investment, improve infrastructure, enhance environmental and social standards, and support local communities. The mining industry has also been involved in various social projects, such as education, health care, agriculture, and tourism.

Despite the challenges posed by the earthquake and the global pandemic, Morocco’s mining industry remains optimistic about its future prospects and committed to its social responsibility. Benoit La Salle, CEO of Aya Gold & Silver, said: “We are confident that Morocco will overcome this difficult situation with strength and resilience.”

Source: Africa Intelligence

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