Mustang Resources finds first rubies at Montepuez project
On Wednesday 27 July, the Australian mining company Mustang Resources announced that it has recovered 10 rubies from its mine in Montepuez in the northern province of Cabo Delgado.
Currently, the company is digging trenches to improve its mapping of the area’s geology and prepare for a bulk sampling programme. In a statement to investors, Mustang claimed that: “recovering rubies during this initial phase is a very positive indicator”.
The rubies came from 25 samples taken from the trenches. The total weight of the rubies is only 2.61 carats, but the stones will provide invaluable information to the company as it draws up plans for bulk sampling from gravel in the third quarter of the year.
According to Mustang’s Managing Director, Christiaan Jordaan, “the recovery of 10 rubies from alluvial sources at the Montepuez ruby project is very encouraging and the team is buoyed by this early-stage success”.
The Montepuez Ruby Project consists of three licenses covering 15,800-hectares directly adjacent to the world’s largest ruby deposit which is mined by the London-based company Gemfields. So far, Gemfields has held six auctions of Montepuez rubies which have netted a total of US$195-million.
Mustang Resources also holds a majority interest in two diamond exploration licences along the Save River, in central Mozambique, which are downstream from the Murowa and Marange diamond fields in Zimbabwe. In addition, Mustang holds the rights to a graphite resource near the world class graphite deposits discovered by Syrah Resources and Triton Minerals.
Despite the announcement, shares in the company fell on the Australian Securities Exchange by one Australian cent to four cents.
Source: Agencia de Informacao de Moçambique
Government closes Dhlakama gem mine
The General Inspectorate of Mineral Resources and Energy has closed down a gem mine belonging to the Renamo leader, Afonso Dhlakama, in Báruè district (Manica Province), allegedly for lack of tax compliance. The company that operates the tourmaline mine in Báruè district – currently the scene of violent clashes between government and Renamo forces – was fined in 2015 for non-payment of taxes and for safety breaches after a security incident resulted in the death of one miner and injured six others.
Another mining company, Sociedade Mineira de Nhampassa (Sominha), which operates in the same area as Dhlakama’s mine, has ceased operations for security reasons resulting from the current political and military crisis.
An analyst in Báruè says that the closure of Dhlakama’s mine is suggestive of an assault on the logistics of the opposition guerrilla army, said to be behind military activities aimed at securing control over six provinces in the centre and north of the country since the beginning of the year. According to João Lima, unregistered miners are also taking advantage of the lack of security to loot gem deposits in other areas of Manica Province.
Statistics from the provincial mining directorate reveal that a further 17 mining licenses have been cancelled for breaches of regulations, including the lack of submission of annual activities plans and reports, non-payment of dues and fines or forfeiture.
Source: VOA Português
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