MINING giant Rio Tinto says it is withdrawing the families of expat workers from Mozambique amid security concerns.
The FTSE 100-listed firm said its coal mining operations in the country would continue.
There is growing international concern over security in Mozambique, which is a major coal and gas exporter.
There has been an increase in kidnappings, and fighting between the government and rebels.
Rio Tinto said the withdrawal was temporary.
"The safety of employees and their families is the number one priority," Rio Tinto said in a statement. "Rio Tinto Coal Mozambique's operations continue as planned, including the shipment of coal."
The Mozambique Government has blamed the main opposition party, Renamo, for recent attacks on civilians.
The party is a former rebel group that fought the ruling Frelimo party in a civil war between 1975 and 1992.