Montepuez

Ruby Mine

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Montepuez, Mozambique

Montepuez Ruby
Mine, Mozambique

Overview

The Montepuez ruby deposit is located in the northeast of Mozambique in the Cabo Delgado province. Covering approximately 33,600 hectares, it is believed to be the most significant recently discovered ruby deposit in the world.

Key Facts

Location

Montepuez district, Cabo Delgado province, Mozambique

Acquisition by Gemfields

June 2011

Gemstones

Ruby and corundum

Mining Method

Open-pit, bulk sampling, 150 tonnes per hour capacity

Ownership Structure

75% Gemfields,
25% Mwiriti Limitada

Our assets in detail

Montepuez Ruby Mine

Geology

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The highlands of Northern Mozambique are dominated by a Precambrian basement section of the well-known Mozambique Belt that extends up north to the Mediterranean. In its basement, large regions were metamorphosed at high temperature and high pressure during the Pan-African tectonic event, 800 to 550 Ma (million years) ago creating suitable conditions for the formation of gemstones. Deposits of the Pan-African Orogeny are much older than the Himalayan range gem deposits (e.g. Myanmar rubies) that are only 40 million years old.

The Montepuez deposit has both primary and secondary type of mineralisation. The secondary alluvial type mineralisation has been derived from the weathering of the ruby bearing primary host rocks, and subsequent transportation of the more resilient ruby grains along paleo alluvial channels.

Learn More About Rubies

Open-Pit Mining

Montepuez is an open-pit ruby mine. The mining area has two types of mineralisation, primary and secondary. The primary deposit is where the rubies were originally formed over 500 million years ago. These rubies tend to be flat crystals, retaining their original shape.

The secondary alluvial deposits are found along the gravel beds formed in ancient river channels. These rubies were tumbled while travelling along the course of the flowing river and often over some distance giving rise to a somewhat rounded form.

In general, both deposit types lie some way below the surface. This differs from the deep deposits in Myanmar, which was traditionally where the world sourced its rubies. Many of the rubies found at the Montepuez mine have similar qualities to that of the well-known Burmese ruby.

Safety

Montepuez is a very young operation and with a very different level of safety risk when compared to Kagem. Although the level of safety risk is relatively lower in shallow open pit mines, the safety standards are constantly being monitored and maintained at the highest  levels.

Montepuez ruby mine continues to invest in training, awareness sessions, personal protective equipment compliance testing and the issuance of several operational policies in its quest for continuous improvement in the process.

An upgraded clinic is in operation and staff at Montepuez have access to emergency evacuation services in case of a serious incident. With a new camp facility recently completed, staff’s wellbeing is now better catered for with enhanced dining and recreation areas as well as sports pitches, weekly social evenings and competitive sports events.

Montepuez Ruby mine is currently underway with the process to ensure compliance with both OHSAS18001 and ISO14001 management systems.

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