Montepuez Ruby Mining (MRM), 75% owned by Gemfields, has entered into a contract with Consulmet Limited to build a new processing plant at its ruby mine located in Cabo Delgado province, northern Mozambique.
According to a publication made on Monday, August 7, by the International Mining portal, the addition of the second plant will triple MRM’s processing capacity, from the current 200 tonnes per hour (t/h) to 600 tonnes, allowing various sizes and colours of rubies to be made available on the market.
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“This is a lump sum based on the International Federation of Consulting Engineers’ industry standard terms, with MRM’s payment obligations agreed in South African rand and equivalent to approximately US$70 million (at recent exchange rates, excluding VAT and government levies),” the website states.
According to International Mining, 30 per cent of the costs are estimated to be paid in 2023 and 60 per cent in 2024, with the remainder due in 2025.
“The new processing plant, financed by cash and debt resources, is expected to come on stream during the first half of 2025,” it concludes.
The rubies produced in Cabo Delgado province have been in greater demand in the international market, especially in Asia. With seven years of existence, Montepuez Ruby Mining has already sold a total of 13.6 million carats of rough gemstones, which generated USD 731.5 million in revenues.
In 2019, the Mozambican company generated USD 122 million in revenue from ruby auctions, while in April 2020 and March 2021 the mine was closed due to the impossibility of holding any auction generated by the covid-19 pandemic.