Mozambique’s ruby mining company hit by COVID-19 pandemic

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Montepuez Ruby Mining (MRM), a joint venture that operates in the world’s largest ruby mine in northern Mozambique, said Thursday that the pandemic of COVID-19 will affect its performance in 2020 as all of its non-critical operations and 60 percent of the workforce have been suspended.

The suspension was both being complying with national recommendations and a result of supply chain restrictions, said Samora Machel Junior, MRM’s chairman of the board of directors at a press conference in Maputo.

“In the first half of last year, MRM had a turnover of over 50 million U.S. dollars and, unfortunately, to date, we have not yet had a turnover, that is, we are far from reaching the figures for the same period of last year,” he said.

An auction scheduled for June was canceled and given the general restrictions on travel, quarantine periods and prohibition of mass gathering, there is still no certainty about the completion of the auction scheduled for December 2020, according to a press release by MRM on the same day.

As the price for rubies is set at auctions, the company still cannot have a forecast for COVID-19 impact on its gemstones.

Operating in the Montepuez ruby deposit located in Cabo Delgado with around 34 thousand hectares of exploration concession, MRM is 75 percent owned by Gemfields and 25 percent by Mwiriti Limitada, a Mozambican company. Enditem

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