Coloured gemstone miner Gemfields’ independent technical economic model, part of a Competent Persons Report for its 75% owned Montepuez ruby mine, reveals it will increase its mining capacity from 3.3 Mtpa to 5.6 Mtpa by July 2017.

The economic model also reveals that based on current known resources, the Mozambique-based mine will produce about 432 ruby carats over its 21 year lifespan.

An exploration programme, planned over the next few years, could extend and expand up this even further. Montepuez’s remaining 25% shareholder is local partner, Mwiriti Limitada.

Gemfields further projects it will increase processing capacity from 0.4 Mtpa to 1.3 Mtpa by July 2016. Its anticipated cash flow, over the mine’s lifespan, is USD$2.76 billion. Within that period the company’s capital expenditure should total about $305 million.

“As the first recorded mineral resource and ore reserve statement for Montepuez, the significance of this report is not only a milestone event that bares testament to the quality of work carried out by SRK and the expertise from within the Gemfields team, but provides further evidence to the continued growth, positive momentum and opportunity inherent within the coloured gemstone sector,” says Ian Harebottle, CEO of Gemfields.

“Together with various expansion opportunities that are already at hand, and the impact that our continued global marketing and promotional initiatives are expected to generate, deliver a high level of confidence in Gemfields’ on-going efforts to reinvigorate the global coloured gemstone market place.

As I have said on many occasions over the past few years, this is still just the very beginning, with much more yet to come. I would also like to thank Mwriti and the Mozambican government for their continued support”.

The Competent Persons Report (CPR) highlights include:

  • An indicated and inferred mineral resource of 467 million carats of ruby and corundum at an in-situ grade of 62.3 ct/t;
  • A JORC code compliant indicated mineral resource of primary mineralisation of 2.1 Mt or 245 million carats at a grade of 115.4 ct/t;
  • A JORC code compliant inferred mineral resource of primary mineralisation of 0.4 Mt or 44 million carats at a grade of 115.4 ct/t; and
  • A JORC code compliant indicated mineral resource of secondary mineralisation of 5.0 Mt or 178 million carats at a grade of 35.7 ct/t.

Further to this, Montepuez has an additional 432 carats in its probable ore reserves category – at a diluted ore grade of 15.7 ct/t.

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