JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed Mustang Resources on Tuesday announced that it was changing its ruby sales and marketing approach for rubies sourced from its Montepuez ruby project, in Mozambique.
It would close its sales facility in Mauritius, as these were designed for large-scale auctions, which were no longer suitable, given Mustang’s current production levels, said Mustang MD Dr Bernard Olivier.
Mustang has now established a sales and marketing office in Chanthaburi, Thailand. This facility is smaller and lower-cost than that in Mauritius and more in line with the company’s emphasis on project and ruby market development, as well as ongoing market research.
“The company has decided to implement a series of measures to better reflect the current exploration and development status of the Montepuez ruby project,” said Olivier, who was appointed in January.
As part of this revised approach, Mustang’s ruby inventory of 333 184 ct that was stored in Mauritius and in Mozambique has now been relocated to the Chanthaburi office where it will be re-parcelled and prepared for sale as part of an ongoing sales and market development process.
Thailand is considered the world-leader in trading and beneficiation of coloured gemstones, especially rubies and sapphires. Mustang’s revised marketing strategy will be based on regular sales of rubies of all product categories to local and international customers.
“This process will generate valuable market intelligence for Mustang, enabling it to identify the demand for the various categories of stones. It will also enable Mustang to establish strong relationships with major ruby customers and meet their individual requirements as they arise and as they change over time,” explained Olivier.
The Chanthaburi office will also oversee selected heating and cutting of the company’s ethically-mined rubies as part of its market development and product research campaign.
Further, this measured approach to marketing is intended to generate regular cash flow for Mustang as it continues to pursue exploration and bulk sampling activities.
“Our sales and marketing review has been very productive and creates a clear pathway to unlocking the full value of our outstanding Montepuez ruby project. We will grow our business by developing strong and close customer relationships and aiming to meet their respective requirements.
“This approach will allow us to place an accurate value on our existing inventory and enable us to assess the project’s longer-term economic outlook. In the near term, we aim to align our sales volumes with our limited production from what is essentially still an exploration and development project.”
As part of this exploration phase, Mustang intends to establish a maiden resource estimation which, in conjunction with the market intelligence it gathers from the sales activity, will form a basis for determining the project’s economic viability, concluded Olivier.