By Brecken Branstrator
Toronto—Fura Gems is set to acquire more ruby mining licenses in the Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique.

The mining company announced Monday it has entered into a purchase and non-competition agreement with GemRock Company Ltd. in which Fura will acquire interests in three licenses/concessions in Cabo Delgado, in which the main ruby mining district of Montepuez sits.

In a $3.8 million cash deal, the company acquired 100 percent participating interests in SRL Mining Limitada, a Mozambican mining company holding both a concession and a ruby exploration license, and a 20 percent participating interest in Ibra Moz SA, another Mozambican mining company holding ruby a mining concession in the area.

It also paid $3.5 million to acquire rights to explore certain areas without competition from GemRock as well as $500,000 as a reimbursement for the latter’s expenses connected with the transactions.

The acquisition will add another 95 square kilometers (a little more than 36 square miles) to Fura’s existing land package in Montepuez.

It said it expects to start bulk sampling at the license areas by March.

Combined with the acquisition of several ruby mining licenses from New Energy Minerals Ltd. (formerly Mustang Resources) in 2018 and the acquisition of another ruby mining license completed last fall, the move is expected to give Fura the ability to explore for secondary alluvial and a primary deposit of rubies in the region.

The company also announced this week it had entered a loan agreement with a private company to borrow $5.5 million. The loan will have an interest rate of 10 percent per year and has a maturity date of July 31, unless the parties mutually agree to an extension.

Fura completed the acquisition of its Australian sapphire mining project in January, rounding out the “big three” in its portfolio as the company also holds emerald mining assets in Colombia.

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