Most know the success story that diamonds have been, however this has only been a relatively recent phenomenon, with the success story really only starting in 1938 when De Beers, with a ready source of diamonds, commenced a concerted push to build a market. With the discovery of the Montepuez Ruby Field in Mozambique, rubies could be in a similar position now as diamonds were 80 years ago – rubies are the most valuable of the coloured gemstones, with prices rising some 60% over the past eight years. Until the discovery of Montepuez ruby supply had been erratic and unreliable, which precluded the development of a stable market. That has now changed with the discovery of Montepuez. Gemfields, the first mover into the field has sold some US$280 million worth of stones at auction over the past few years, with this backed up by a strong marketing campaign. This should now help Mustang Resources, an ASX listed company that is bulk sampling and exploring on their own tenements at Montepuez, with the first auction of ~200,000 carats of rough stones planned for October. By all accounts rubies recovered by Mustang are of similar high quality to those from Gemfields’ Mugloto deposit, which have recorded prices of up to +US$600/carat rough at auction. The quality and potential of Mustang’s operations was highlighted by our recent site visit (as was the quality of the grilled lobster at the nearby coastal town of Pemba). Mustang also has the nearby Caula Graphite Project, in the same belt that hosts Syrah’s and Triton’s Projects. Drilling and metallurgical test work has highlighted the high grade and quality of this discovery, with an initial resource estimate expected in September. To read our update and site visit report on Mustang, which is now the only listed ruby producer globally following the privatisation of Gemfields, please follow the link below.
Mark is a Senior Resources Analyst for Independent Investment Research, with a focus on junior and mid-cap listed resources stocks. With over 10 years as an analyst, following on from 17 years as a geologist, he has a good insight into the sector.