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Mozambican ruby mine tops US$1 billion in total revenues

The Montepuez deposit, first discovered in 2009, is believed to be the most significant ruby find in the world in recent years.

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UPDATED: 02 May 2024, 8:00 am

The Montepuez ruby mine in Mozambique has accumulated revenues of more than US$1 billion since 2014, according to figures released on Friday by UK-based Gemfields.

Gemfields holds a 75-percent stake in Montepuez Ruby Mine Limitada (MRM), the entity operating the mine, with the remaining 25 percent held by Mozambican geological exploration company Mwiriti. Auctions began in June 2014 and, as of December 2023, had generated US$1.055 billion in revenue with nearly a quarter of that, US$257.4 million, going to the government in royalties and taxes.

Last year alone the mine generated a total revenue of US$151.3 million and paid US$53.2 million to the Mozambican state.

[See more: Mozambican ruby mine set to triple processing capacity]

While rubies have been detected in Mozambique as far back as the 1500s, mining only began in earnest in the 1990s. The Montepuez deposit, first discovered in the northern province of Cabo Delgado in 2009, is believed to be the most significant ruby discovery in the world in recent years. After a few years of wildcat mining, it came under formal control in 2011 and began operations the following year.

Since then, the mine has created more than 1,500 jobs locally with nearly all going to Mozambicans (95 percent) and the majority to residents of the province (65 percent). 

Montepuez employed around 700 workers and contractors as of 2023. That figure may increase as MRM signed a contract with South Africa-based Consulmet Limited last August to build a second processing plant. Expected to come online in 2025, the plant will triple the mine’s processing capacity.

UPDATED: 02 May 2024, 8:00 am

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