HomeFeatures & AnalysisMustang Resources recovers first rubies while trenching at Montepuez

Mustang Resources recovers first rubies while trenching at Montepuez

Mozambique – The 10 rubies, which total 2.16 ct, were recovered by Mustang Resources during initial trenching activities of the alluvial layers at the company’s flagship Montepuez project, which will soon undergo a bulk sampling programme to determine how best to unlock the country’s significant ruby potential.

Exploration Phase 2A

The trenching programme, which began on 25 June, as part of Phase 2A of the exploration programme, comprises strategic surface pitting, sampling and processing activities.

This is being undertaken in order to gather specific geological data regarding the project area, including stratigraphy, to identify ruby-bearing gravels and to delineate targets for the proposed bulk sampling programme, which is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2016.

Importantly, the current programme

Mustang Resources
Map indicating location of initial pits

is focused on alluvial material in which the higher quality rubies are thought to be hosted, with Mustang utilising low cost techniques for excavation, screening, processing and recovery, as well as for on-going rehabilitation.

To date, 25 samples have been processed. The pitting completed thus far has been based on two grids, each grid produced differing gravels, bedrock and yields.

Geological mapping of the gravel layers within the Montepuez project area is being simultaneously conducted to increase the company’s understanding of the Montepuez region’s geology.

Bulk sampling phase

Phase 2A will be followed by the commencement of a full bulk sampling programme with the aim of recovering rubies for sale as soon as marketable parcels are available. Furthermore, the data gathered during this programme will be utilised to complete a JORC compliant resource statement and feasibility study as Mustang advances towards full scale commercial mining.

The company believes that the successful exploration start-up and ruby recoveries highlight the significant underlying potential of Montepuez, while the rubies recovered from excavation and trenching of the gravel layers further validate the prospectivity of Monetpuez.

“The recovery of the rubies from alluvial sources at Montepuez is very encouraging and the team is buoyed by this early stage success.

“Work is continuing with the trenching and processing of additional pits as we advance towards the commencement of bulk sampling in Q3 2016,” says Mustang Resources MD Christiaan Jordaan.

Project background

The Montepuez ruby project consists of three licenses (4143L, 4258L and 5030L) covering 15 800 ha directly adjacent to the world’s largest ruby deposit discovered by Gemfields in 2012.

The project area lies within the Montepuez Complex, a structurally deformed, complex metamorphic terrane which is known to host two types of ruby mineralisation, namely primary amphibolite mineralisation, and secondary gravel bed mineralisation.

Chantelle Kotze
Chantelle Kotze is a Johannesburg-based media professional. She is a contributor at Mining Review Africa (Clarion Events - Africa) and has created content for the media brand over the past 6 years.