JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – TSX-V-listed gemstone producer Fura Gems has entered into an agreement to acquire an interest in nine ruby assets in Mozambique from ASX-listed Mustang Resources and Regius Resources Group for A$15-million, or about C$14.6-million, in cash and shares.
Upon closing of the acquisition, Fura, which already owns ruby assets in Mozambique, will hold effective interests of between 65% and 80% in the nine assets, with the remaining interests, nondilutive and free carried, being held by the respective local partners.
Fura intends to invest up to C$25-million over three years in a programme of drilling, bulk sampling and production mining on the properties comprising the assets.
Other initiatives that Fura intends to launch include the reconfiguration of the existing wash plants to increase efficiencies and the extension and consolidation of certain of the ruby licences.
Speaking to Mining Weekly Online, Fura CEO Dev Shetty on Monday said the company would acquire the assets free of debt and would also acquire the related infrastructure, which includes two wash plants, security infrastructure, mine camps and other related infrastructure.
“Fura expects to commence bulk sampling activities of rubies by the end of this year and commence auction sales from the third quarter. The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of November,” he said.
He added that the Mozambique operations would be run by a newly formed team of gemstone experts, who were previously involved in discovering and successfully building the world’s largest ruby mine in Mozambique.
“On completion of the acquisition, Fura will hold the largest ruby land package, of 1 104 m2, in Mozambique,” he noted.
Shetty pointed out that Fura hopes to, in the medium term, create a cash-generative ruby mine to complement its Coscuez emerald mine, in Colombia.
Meanwhile, Fura is also considering a potential listing of its shares on the LSE by the end of this year.
Such a listing may coincide with a fundraise to continue the development of its emerald and ruby operations.