The Mozambican Government has acknowledged that the country will not meet its ruby production target for 2023, with expectations of a nearly 40% drop compared to the previous year when it reached 4.4 million carats of the precious gemstone.
A report from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, assessing budget execution for the first half of the year, indicates that the available production data, primarily concentrated in three companies, suggests that “the planned production for 2023 will not be achieved, with a decrease of around 38.83% expected.”
The report attributes this decline to the existence of approximately two tons (equivalent to 11,275,435 carats) of stockpiled rubies by Montepuez Ruby Mining, the largest producer.
Additionally, it notes that the deposits within areas concessioned to the Fura Gems and Gem Rock groups lack high mining potential and are not substantial.
The report goes on to state, “For 2024, growth of 3% is expected compared to what was projected by the end of 2023,” implying a potential production of over three million carats for the following year.
The Montepuez project, situated in Cabo Delgado province, consists of four licenses covering 19,300 hectares adjacent to the world’s largest ruby deposit, initially discovered by the multinational Gemfields in 2012.
Over recent years, Mozambique has become one of the leading ruby producers globally, with rubies being prized as among the rarest and most valuable gemstones.
Notably, in 2022, Fura Gems uncovered a 55.22-carat ruby in one of its Mozambique mines, which, after being worked on, became the largest and most valuable jewel of its kind ever sold at auction, fetching an astounding $34.8 million in New York.
This story has been adopted from Medafrica Times.