Mozambique Ruby news

These days we received mixed news from Mozambique.

As has been reported, the British Gemfields company acquired 75% of the Mwriti Limitada ruby company in Delgado Province in the north of the country. The newly founded Montepuez Ruby Mining Company now holds the mining concessions, covering an area of 34.000 hectares. The concessions are valid for 25 years.

Recently company spokesman Raime Raimundo told the local press that due to late delivery of mining equipment, the start of the ruby pruction has been delayed until end of November or beginning of December 2012.

Expectations are high, as, according to some, the Mozambique Ruby fields could turn out to be the most productive Ruby deposit on earth. In the light of dwindling supply from Burma, this would be more than welcome indeed!

At the moment Gemfields employs 200 workers. The number should grow to 500, once full production is reached. So far Gemfields invested 5 million dollars. Another 20 millions are scheduled over period of five years.

Unfortunately we also have to report some very bad news.
Apparently Gemfields faces major problems with illegal miners. Small wonder, regarding the size of the area. Local media report of repeated clashes between artisanal miners and the police as well as the company's security forces.

The worst incident occured on July 7th, when guards opened fire on a group of 300 illegals miners, killing one and wounding two others.

Radio Mocambique reported that the incident was sparked by a sourcerer from neighbouring Nampulo province, who claimed he could "vaccinate" the miners against bullets. The miners bought the "vaccine" for 300,000 Meticais (approximately USD 10.700). However, some miners were not fully confident in the vaccine and, just in case, brought along another 300,000 Meticais to bribe the guards.
According to the radio station's source, the commander of the guards called the amount "insignificant" and warned the miners to stay out of the area.
The following dispute quickly got out of control and finally led to the lethal shots.

We sincerely hope that Gemfields will regain control of the situation.
After all the company's moral and ethical standards seem to be beyond reproach, judging from their support for a plethora of social and ecological projects.