Richland Resources Exercises Option for Acquisition of Australian Sapphire ProjectJune 05, 14
(IDEX Online News) – Gemstone miner Richland Resources Ltd has exercised its option for the acquisition of the Nardoo Sapphire project in Australia. The mine is located near Sapphire, Queensland and was previously mined by ASX-listed Australis Mining Corporation Ltd between May 2005 and March 2006 when approximately 2.29 million carats of sapphires were produced.
Richland acquired the project for AUD$1.18 million (approximately $1.10 million) and 18 million fully paid new common shares (approximately 8.3 percent of its enlarged share capital). The miner will establish a major sapphire hub in Australia that will see production begin within nine months.
"Nardoo presents Richland with an opportunity to start producing high quality sapphires within a relatively short timeframe,” said Richland Resources CEO Bernard Olivier.
Olivier said that the value of sapphires with proven provenance is high and the company’s intention is to sell certificated Richland stones through its various existing sales channels.
“Located in Queensland, Australia we also believe Nardoo brings an important element of low country risk and high locale transparency to our portfolio as we build operations," he added.
In addition to high levels of sapphire recovered above 5.5 millimeters in size, a number of "special" gemstones (those over about 10 carats in weight) have also been produced from Nardoo. Sapphires in this size range carry a significant premium to the smaller sapphires. "Special" gemstones produced during the 11 months of previous mining included a 63 carat dark blue sapphire, 41 carat yellow/green/blue fancy-color sapphire, 33 carat yellow green sapphire, 31 carat blue sapphire, 20 carat green sapphire.
Richland said that as well as these special stones, it believes that the strength of the resource is in supplying sapphires of verifiable origin in large quantities in the sizes, grades and colors used by the international jewelry market.
“Single-origin supply of commercial colors and quantities are difficult to find due to blending in the wholesale and polishing markets. 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,” the company said in a press release.