The Mozambican government admits that the country will miss its target for ruby production this year, which is expected to fall by almost 40% compared to 2022, when it was 4.4 million carats.
According to a report by the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) on budget execution for the first half of the year, to which Lusa had access on Monday (30), the available production data, concentrated in three companies, shows that “the target for 2023 will not be reached, with a decrease of around 38.83% expected”.
This decline is explained in the document by “the existence of around two tons of ‘stock'” of rubies by Montepuez Ruby Mining, which is the largest producer, and by the fact that the deposits in the areas concessioned to the Fura Gems and Gem Rock groups “are not of high mining potential and are also not powerful”.
“For 2024, growth of 3% is expected compared to what was projected until the end of 2023,” adds the MEF report, in a forecast that, if confirmed, will represent production of more than three million carats next year.
The Montepuez project alone, in Cabo Delgado province, consists of four licenses covering 19,300 hectares next to the world’s largest ruby deposit, discovered by the multinational Gemfields in 2012.
Rubies are among the rarest and most valuable gemstones in the world, with Mozambique becoming one of the largest producers in recent years.
In June, a 55.22-carat ruby discovered in 2022 – weighing 101 carats in its original form – by Fura Gems in one of its mines in Mozambique, became the largest and most valuable gem of its kind ever sold at auction this year, after being worked, fetching 34.8 million dollars in New York.