African Mining Market

Fura Gems grabs more ruby assets in Mozambique

A new gemstone mining and marketing company headed by the former COO of Gemfields, is expanding its footprint in Mozambique by acquiring nine ruby assets in the country.

The company, which began operations a year ago and already owns ruby assets in the African country, said the merger of ASX-listed Mustang Resources and Regius Resources Group’s properties with its own existing licenses makes of Fura Mozambique’s largest ruby group by licence area, covering 1,104 sq. km.

Upon closing of the cash and shares A$15-million deal, about Cdn$14.6 million, Fura will have between a 65% and 80% stake in the assets, with the remaining interests, non-dilutive and free carried, being held by the respective local partners.

Once deal is completed, Fura will hold the largest ruby land package in Mozambique, covering over a thousand square kilometres.

Those operations will be run by a newly formed team of gemstone experts, who were previously involved in discovering and successfully building the world’s largest ruby mine in Mozambique, Fura said.

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The company already had four licences around the area known as “the ruby belt.” Earlier this year, President and chief executive Dev Shetty said he believed Fura was in a position to start mining those assets “very soon.”

Colombia and India

Fura Gems also owns the iconic Coscuez emerald mine in Colombia, which it grabbed from Gemfields in October.

Located in the mountainous department of Boyacá, Coscuez is probably one of the best-known emerald deposits in the world, said Shetty, adding it’s known to have produced over 95% of Colombia’s emerald supply in the 1970s.

Fura, which kicked off initial production at the operation in March, found in May a 25.97-carat rough emerald, which it qualifies as “rare and exceptional” one, given its size, colour saturation and clarity.

The company has also expressed interest in grabbing the Bunder diamond project in India, which former owner Rio Tinto gifted to the state government of Madhya Pradesh, where the shelved mine is located, in February last year.

“We were eyeing this project for a while. That is the reason we hired the top management team that headed that project,” Shetty said in April. “We have submitted our intent to the state government to begin exploration on this site and are waiting for the government to auction the mine.”

By Cecilia Jamasmie

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Laurence M. Stevens

Laurence M. Stevens is the African Mining Market's online content editor and media strategist.