Gemfields registers early resource for Mozambique gold prospect

GEMFIELDS described drilling results from its Nairoto Gold Project in Mozambique as “exciting initial and early stage news” after defining an inferred mineral resource containing 103,000 ounces.

The resource estimate, which is from an area called TL5, was within 80 metres of surface and averaged more than two grams per ton. It is “just one of our target areas,” Gemfields said in a statement on Thursday.

Kartikeya Parikshya, Gemfields MD for Mozambique said Nairoto was not within the group’s core focus and that it would “look for a purchaser or suitable partner for the project” in due course.

Gemfields first began work on the project in 2020 before work was interrupted by Covid. Some $20m has been spent on the prospect as of end-March.

“Clearly the fact we haven’t walked away and are still continuing to spend some money suggests we believe it is worth doing so,” said Gemfields CEO Sean Gilbertson of Nairoto during the group’s annual results presentation in March.

“We will endeavour to put out some drilling results in a few weeks as it is important stakeholders get a flavour of the actual numbers,” he said.

In addition to being non-core to Gemfields, which mines and markets rubies and emeralds from Mozambique and Zambia, the Nairoto prospect is in Mozambique’s northern province of Cabo Delgado which has been subject to jihadist attacks in recent years.

At the results, Gilbertson said Gemfields would be in net debt this year amid major $49m investment in its Montepuez ruby mine in Mozambique of which $42m was allocated to 2024. Despite this pressure, the company intended to continue paying dividends, he said. The board declared a $10m final dividend equal to 0.857 US cents a share, payable in June.

Shares in Gemfields are 2.5% lower year-to-date.