Bidding to create value through ethical route to market
Brownfield assets in Colombia and Mozambique - locations rich in gemstone history
What the company does:
Fura Gems Inc (CVE:FURA) describes itself as a 'revolutionary' gemstone mining and marketing company.
It holds ruby assets in Mozambique and emeralds in Colombia and aims to champion transparency at its projects while bringing sophisticated mining and marketing methods to the global gemstone market.
The group is listed on Canada’s TSX venture exchange and is a member of the Forbes & Manhattan Group. Its projects are brownfield sites, rather than greenfield, in a bid to reach cashflow positive status sooner. Its focus is on mining and marketing - it does not cut and polish stones.
In October, 2017, Fura agreed to purchase 76% of Esmeracol S.A. which owns a 100% interest in the operating Coscuez Emerald mine in Colombia (- local partners have the remaining 24% The licence covers 46 hectares and includes exclusive rights for the exploration, construction and mining of emerald deposits granted by the government.
In Mozambique, Fura holds an 80% interest in four ruby licenses - 4392L, 3868L, 3869L and 6811L - which span around 39,000 hectares, in the Montepuez district, while the remaining 20% interest is held again by local partners.
How is it doing?
In December last year, the group reported a major milestone in Colombia, with a maiden resource estimate for the Coscuez mine.
A report said the asset contained around 3mln tonnes of inferred resources at 2 carats per tonne for total production of 6mln carats at a conservative value of US$200 per carat. The estimated mine life is 30 years, with a 105,000 tonne per year mining rate. Notably, there is also potential for a further 146 million carats of additional resources.
It came after the group had already recovered nearly 16,000 carats from a positive bulk sampling program, and the maiden resource estimate provided "additional confidence to the geological understanding, emerald distribution and the potential value of the stones".
Colombia accounts for 50% of the globe's emerald supply by value and the Coscuez asset has huge potential with modernization of the mines there.
In Mozambique - which accounts for 80% of the world's ruby supply by volume - the firm's ruby mine features a shallow deposit, where no drilling or blasting is needed. There is also infrastructure available, with two wash-plants each with 100 tonnes per hour (tph) capacity and the licenses have a 25 year tenure.
Last month, Fura revealed it had once more extended the deadline for its purchase of three more ruby assets in Mozambique, providing notice to New Energy Minerals Ltd, which owns them. The so-called 'drop dead' date for the agreement was pushed back to September 30 from August 31.
The deal will see Fura purchase a 75% stake in Montepuez Minerals Pty Ltd, which itself owns a majority interest in a ruby license and a ruby concession. Fura will also take an 80% stake in a mining concession under a joint venture agreement.
In another move, the firm revealed in June this year that it would break into the world of sapphire mining in Australia as it struck an option deal with Richland Resources Ltd (LON:RLD) to buy the Capricorn project in Queensland.
Capricorn comprises two mining permits and three mining licenses. It is already a producing mine, and Fura said it plans to more clearly delineate the deposit during the second half of this year and scale-up operations in 2020.
On the cash front, in August, Fura raised around C$33 million in an oversubscribed private placing, which would "accelerate our plans in Colombia and Mozambique and move the company along the path to revenue generating mining operations".
Fura also benefits from an experienced management team, who have developed the world's largest emerald and ruby mines - in Zambia and Mozambique respectively.
President and CEO Dev Shetty is a former chief operating officer (COO) and board member at Gemfields and was responsible for initiating its entry into Ethiopia and Colombia.
Indeed, most of the Fura team formerly worked at Gemfields, back in the time when it was UK’s foremost colored stone producer and before it was absorbed into the Brian Gilbertson Pallinghurst vehicle. Combined they have more than 75 years' experience in color gemstones mining and marketing.
- Advances to assets in Colombia and Mozambique
- Completion of Montepuez Minerals Pty Ltd deal
- Mozambique technical feasibility report
- Further marketing initiatives, including progress with blockchain model
What the boss says:
In August, after upsizing its fund-raising, Fura's CEO Dev Shetty said: "We expect that, upon completion, the capital raise will help Fura accelerate our operations in Colombia and Mozambique and move the company along the path to revenue-generating mining operations."