Africa

Inside the ruby mines in Montepuez

Published 8:28 AM ET, Wed December 28, 2016
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Ian Harebottle on site at MRMIan Harebottle on site at MRM
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Gemfield's CEO Ian Harebottle at the company's mining site in Mozambique. Courtesy Gemfields
Discovered in 2009, the deposits span more than 500 square kilometers in Montepuez, a rural area in Northern Mozambique. Courtesy Gemfields
The company's two Mozambican mines began production in 2012, and is a joint venture between Gemfields and local partner Mwiriti Limitada, a private Mozambican company, who owns 25% of the business. Courtesy Gemfields
Gemfields' first ruby auction with stones from Mozambique in Singapore in 2014 generated $33.5 million. Courtesy Gemfields
Gemfields' operations lie side by side with small artisan mines and other international companies such as Mustang Resources, pictured. Courtesy Mustang Resources
Mustang's production is smaller with a focus on mining and selling the stones which are considered of highest quality, according to the company. Courtesy Mustang Resources
The red gems are often traded as rough cut stones at industry auctions in Asia. The largest markets for uncut ruby is Thailand, Sri Lanka and India, with the largest consumer markets in China, the US and India, experts say. Russell Shor/GIA