Monday, June 12, 2017

Gemstone Mining in Northern Mozambique

Northern Mozambique has gained attention for its rubies since a major discovery near Montepuez in 2009. Until the arrival of Gemfields in 2012, nearly all the production from this deposit came from garimpeiros.
Between 2012 and 2016, Gemfields became a force in the ruby trade, supplying the market through regular auctions. In 2016, two new players acquired ruby mining licenses around Montepuez: Mustang Resources and Metals of Africa.

Within Gemfields initial 360-square-kilometer concession, there are already four main ruby deposits: Mugloto, Ntorro, Maninge Nice, and Glass. The company recently acquired additional exploration licenses for areas surrounding their first licenses and now has exploration rights over a huge expanse of about 1,000 square kilometers.
Australian company Mustang Resources acquired interests in three mining licenses northwest of the Gemfields license in 2015. Mustang’s operation started in 2016. They are focused on infrastructure and secondary ruby mineralization. They base their efforts on the activity of garimpeiros.
Metals of Africa is a significant player in graphite mining in northern Mozambique. The company recently recognized the opportunities in the Montepuez ruby area and acquired a mining license near the village of Napula. Mozambique has enacted laws that distinguish illegal mining as a crime. Unlicensed mining is now considered a serious criminal offense, this means that garimpeiros risk jail time if caught.