Gemfields enters gold exploration joint venture in Mozambique

Gemfields will hold 75 percent of the new JV and Mozambique-based Mwiriti, the balance.

JSE-listed gemstone producer Gemfields has entered into a joint venture with Mozambican company Mwiriti to explore for gold over greenfield licences near the companies' Montepuez Ruby Mining (MRM) JV operation, in Mozambique.

Gemfields will hold 75 percent of the new JV and Mwiriti the balance.

Under the terms of the JV agreement, Gemfields will contribute its proven exploration and project development experience, together with appropriate financing, with a view to building on the successes achieved in Mozambican rubies, where Gemfields and Mwiriti’s collaboration brought considerable benefits for both the regional economy and local communities.

Mwiriti will contribute six applications for mining concessions and six exploration licences for gold and assorted minerals.

Mwiriti will receive, from the JV, an advance payment of $3-million against its share of future earnings arising from the operations of the new JV.

The licences, which begin as little as 20 km from MRM’s existing operations, include an extension of the known Montepuez ruby belt, with both secondary gold incidence and primary corundum mineralisation having been observed.

“We have enjoyed a sound and successful partnership with Mwiriti at the Montepuez ruby mine and we look forward to furthering our joint understanding of these new licences. While the opportunities are early stage, secondary gold mineralisation has been observed and recovered in small quantities from several areas within the licence portfolio and these will, therefore, constitute our key focus in the year ahead.

“Gemfields remains a company focussed on emeralds, rubies and sapphires mined in Africa. However, given their proximity, the relative ease of mobilisation, our longstanding relationship with Mwiriti and the mineralisation observed on site to date, we feel it is important to fully investigate the possible upside potential of these licences for our shareholders,” Gemfields CEO Sean Gilbertson (pictured) said in a statement.