Maputo, Mozambique — 20 July 2012 – Gemstone company Montepuez Ruby Mining has assured the Mozambican Ministry of Mineral Resources that it will begin production of rubies from its concession at Namanhumbire, in the Montepuez district of the northern province of Cabo Delgado, in late November or early December this year.
allAfrica.com reports that, according to a report in daily newspaper “Noticias”, the company currently employs about 200 workers, a number that is expected to rise to 500 when the mine is in full production.
Montepuez Ruby Mining is a partnership between the British company Gemfields (which owns 75% of the shares), and the Mozambican company Mwiriti. There are geological indications that Montepuez may hold the world’s largest deposits of rubies.
The company claims that it has invested US$5 million in the project so far, and within the next five years that figure is expected to reach US$25 million.
One of the Mozambican partners, Raime Raimundo, told “Noticias” that production should already have started, but had been held up because of the delay in the arrival of processing equipment. The equipment should all be installed by the end of August, he said.
The advantage of the partnership with Gemfields, Raimundo added, is that “the Mozambican partner enters with zero risk “’ everything concerned with the financial engineering and machinery is done by Gemfields.”
A serious problem facing the company has been the invasion of its concession area by artisanal miners. This has led to repeated clashes between the illegal miners and the force protecting the area, consisting of company guards and members of the police.
Source: allAfrica.com. For more information, click here.