London, 7 Aug (AIM) – The London-based company Gemfields on Monday announced that Montepuez Ruby Mining (MRM) will triple its processing capacity at its ruby mine in Montepuez district in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado.
The company revealed that MRM has entered into a legally binding contract with Consulmet Limited for the construction of a second processing plant that is expected to become operational in the first half of 2025.
The addition of the plant will increase MRM’s processing capacity from the existing 200 tonnes per hour to 600 tonnes per hour. This will allow for processing of the sizeable stockpile that has built up.
The agreement is a turnkey contract to be paid in South African Rands to an equivalent of approximately 70 million US dollars. The payments will be made upon reaching set milestones and it is expected that 30 per cent of the amount will be due in 2023, 60 per cent in 2024, and the rest in 2025.
According to the general manager of MRM, Prahalad Kumar Singh, “this investment constitutes the single-largest investment ever made by the Gemfields Group and represents our ongoing commitment to the province of Cabo Delgado, to Mozambique, and to our local communities for whom additional jobs and economic development are of pivotal importance”.
He added, “I extend my deep gratitude to all of our stakeholders, including our hard-working team and our partners at Mwiriti Limitada and in the Government of Mozambique for their ongoing support and encouragement in making MRM a leading contributor in Cabo Delgado”.
Gemfields holds 75 per cent of the shares in Montepuez Ruby Mining Ltd. The other 25 per cent is owned by the Mozambican company Mwiriti.
Gemfields describes itself as “a world-leading responsible miner and marketer of coloured gemstones”. It calls the Montepuez ruby mine “one of the most significant recently discovered ruby deposits in the world”.
MRM has held 19 ruby auctions since June 2014, generating 978.5 million US dollars in total revenue. The proceeds were fully repatriated to MRM in Mozambique with all royalties due to the government paid on the full price achieved at auction.