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Mozambique-Though diamonds are forever, coloured gemstones have their own charm.Mozambique is a relatively new supplier especially for rubies.
By: Diamond World News Service
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Oct 24 2015 3:18PM
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Reference: 12135  

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Mozambique was one of world's poorest countries in 1975, but the country has emerged as one of the world's fastest growing economies, with foreign investors showing interest in Mozambique's untapped oil and gas reserves. Coal and titanium are a growing source of revenue and so are coloured gemstones.

Mining companies are on a lookout for new sources for gemstones and Mozambique has emerged as the new source for rubies, aquamarine, morganite, tourmaline, garnets and other gemstones.

Economy

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Mozambique was worth 16.39 billion US dollars in 2014. The GDP value of Mozambique represents 0.03 percent of the world economy. GDP in Mozambique averaged 5.74 USD Billion from 1980 until 2014, reaching an all-time high of 16.39 USD Billion in 2014 and a record low of 1.97 USD Billion in 1992. GDP in Mozambique is reported by the World Bank. Mozambique's economy is predominantly services-based.
Agriculture accounts for 28.99 per cent of GDP and employs 80.50 per cent of the population. Manufacturing and industry accounts for 20.79 per cent of GDP and employs 3.40 per cent of the population. The service sector accounts for 50.22 per cent of the GDP and employs 16.10 per cent of the population.

Gemstones

Aquamarine, morganite, tourmaline, and other gemstones are mined in Zambezia Province; dumortierite, in Tete Province; and garnet, in Niassa Province. The mine output of garnet doubled to an estimated 4,400 kg in 2006; the increase may have been attributable to upgrades to the Cuamba Mine by Sociedade Mineira de Cuamba E.E.
Garnet production was expected to increase by 26 per cent in 2007.The production of dumortierite declined sharply in 2005 because of poor market conditions and a lack of equipment.In 2000, production was expected to increase by 10 per cent compared with an estimated 20 per cent in 2006.Copper-containing tourmaline was mined from an alluvial deposit in the Alto Ligonha District of Zambezia Province starting in early 2004; the mines were still producing at the end of 2006.

Mozambique Rubies

Though earlier finest quality rubies were known to be from Burma and Sri Lanka, lately Mozambique rubies have gained importance due to their high quality. Ruby production from Burma has been on a decline noticeably in recent years and most of the larger rubies entering the market are now from other sources, particularly Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar.
Mozambique has become particularly important since 2009 when high quality rubies, including some star rubies, were found in Montepuez in the northern part of the country. The new material differs from the rubies traditionally seen in the market such as those from most major commercial deposits, i.e. Myanmar (Burma), Vietnam, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan, but also from some deposits in Kenya and Tanzania where marble type rubies known for their strong fluorescent reactions that are related to their low iron content occur. They also differ markedly from the Thai / Cambodian rubies that are of basalt origin and which are known for their low fluorescent reactions due to a much higher iron content.
The Mozambique rubies got a new recognition when Montepuez Ruby Mining Company (MRM) was formed to take over the ruby deposit in Montepuez in June 2011. MRM is a partnership between the British company Gemfields (which owns 75 per cent of the shares), and the Mozambican company Mwiriti. Ever since, MRM has spent considerable amount of capital and efforts to improve infrastructure, machinery, staffing, security, and public relations. The most encouraging recognition of this joint venture was a visit by the president of Mozambique on April 20, 2013.

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