Having built its reputation on Zambian emeralds, Gemfields Plc, the London-based colored stone miner, is seeing red—for rubies.
The company has set its sights on Mozambique, where it owns a majority stake in a mine that it hopes could supply up to a fifth of global ruby demand, according to a report in Bloomberg.
In 2012, the miner acquired a 75 percent stake in Montepuez Ruby Mining in northern Mozambique, a 131-square-mile concession considered the largest ruby-mining concession in private hands in the world today, according to a Gemfields statement.
CEO Ian Harebottle told Bloomberg that the company plans to more than double the mine’s monthly ruby production to 2.5 million carats by July.
“Our first rough ruby auction will take place in the first half of 2014, so the market can expect to see cut and polished not long after that,” Gemfields CEO Ian Harebottle tells JCK. “We’re very excited to offer a new opportunity for marketing and selling rubies, particularly in the U.S., and we are seeing real enthusiasm for the product at all different levels.”
Gemfields brand ambassador Mila Kunis wearing Sutra earrings featuring Mozambican rubies (photo by Mario Sorrenti, courtesy of Gemfields)