The London-based company Gemfields on Monday announced that it has increased production and lowered costs at its ruby mine in the northern Mozambican district of Montepuez.
In the company’s annual results for the year ending 30 June 2016, it was revealed that Gemfields produced 10.3 million carats of ruby and corundum compared with 8.4 million carats in the previous year. During the period, this produced revenue of 73.1 million US dollars with an average price of 45.50 dollars per carat. Additionally, there has been a 68 per cent increase in higher quality rough rubies discovered.
According to the statement, production costs at the mine have reduced marginally to 2.54 dollars per carat compared with 2.57 dollars in the previous year.
The company estimates that the mine holds probable ore reserves of 432 million carats, with the life of the mine put at 21 years.
Gemfields promotes itself as the world’s leading supplier of “responsibly extracted coloured gems”. It has specialised in Zambian emeralds and amethysts but has branched out into Mozambican rubies. So far, it has held six auctions of Montepuez rubies which have netted a total of 195 million dollars.
Gemfields holds 75 per cent of the shares in Montepuez Ruby Mining Ltd. The other 25 per cent are owned by the Mozambican company Mwiriti.