The Nyala ruby mine at Chimwadzulu, Malawi, has produced rubies for nearly twenty years, but had been out of production for 2 ½ years, as a new long-term lease was negotiated with the Malawian government.
The new lease approved the government is for ten years, plus an automatic renewal after five years, includes both ruby mining details and community development aspects—such as expansion of the local school, building, and funding of a health clinic, and ownership participation by local Malawians, according to Eric Braunwart, president of Columbia Gem House, Inc., Vancouver, Wash., which owns and operates the mine..
The mine in the southern Africa country was reopened in July and will include a major expansion in production, the mining company said in a statement.
Historically, the Chimwadzulu Hill area production consists of approximately 35 percent ruby, 30 percent orange and padparadscha, 25 percent pink and 15 percent purple and lavender sapphire colors. “All stones are 100 percent controlled through mining, cutting, and marketing to assure 100 percent untreated gemstones,” the mining company said in its statement.
Mine expansion equipment is expected to be in place by November and is anticipated to increase production volume over today’s rate by 20 to 30 times, “making Nyala ruby a significant volume production,” according to the statement.