According to the CQ News, Richland now has two mining leases “covering about 494 hectares with a measured resource of 109 million carats of sapphires”.
Richland chief executive Bernard Olivier told the CQ News, “Nardoo presents Richland with an opportunity to start producing high quality sapphires within a relatively short timeframe,”
The company says it is focusing on fancy stones above 10 carats and that production should start by the end of the year.
Richland claims to have suffered heavy financial losses last year due to incessant illegal mining of their lease areas in Tanzania.
Mr Oliver said they were moving into the Australian market, “to build a new gemstone production hub in a politically stable and effectively policed region for mining.”
“While 2013 saw the beginning of action by the Tanzania Government against illegal tanzanite miners, ultimately a comprehensive solution failed to be implemented,” he added.
“Single-origin supply of commercial colours and quantities are difficult to find due to blending in the wholesale and polishing markets,” Mr Olivier said.
“Richland has the expertise to apply first-rate mining practices to a proven sapphire resource and create a platform to supply consistent quantities of source-assured, ethical gemstones to major international buyers for mine-to-market assured supply chains.”