Fura Gems finds giant emerald at historic Coscuez mine in Colombia

The 25.97-carat gemstone has been named the “ÄRE Emerald”. (Image courtesy of Fura Gems.)

Canada-listed Fura Gems (TSX-V:FUR), a new gemstone mining and marketing company headed by the former COO of Gemfields (LON:GEM), has found a 25.97-carat rough emerald at its Coscuez emerald mine in Colombia.

The company, which began operations a year ago, says the gemstone is a “rare and exceptional” one, given its size, colour saturation and clarity.

The 25.97-carat gemstone has been named the “ÄRE Emerald”, named after a figure in ancient Colombian mythology.

It has been named the “ÄRE Emerald”, after a figure in ancient Colombian mythology responsible for the creation of the primary sources of emeralds in the country’s Boyacá region: the Fura and Tena mountains, as well as the Rio Minero River.

Fura’s President and chief executive, Dev Shetty, said the team was thrilled with the discovery during such early stages of the bulk sampling program. “The results of this program so far have well exceeded the expectations of our highly qualified management team,” Shetty said in the statement.

Located in the mountainous department of Boyacá, Coscuez mine, which Fura Gems bought from Gemfields last year, is probably one of the best-known emerald deposits in the world, producing over 95% of Colombia’s vast emerald supply in the 1970s.

The nation’s output of green gemstones dropped from its world-leading position in the early 2000’s with 10 million carats a year to 2.6 million a decade later, losing ground to Zambia and Brazil, mainly as a result of social conflict, violence and instability triggered by drug lords.

But since a final peace agreement signed in 2016, foreign companies are once again landing in the country, which is still the world’s largest supplier of emeralds in terms of value.

Rubies and even diamonds

Fura also has assets in Mozambique, where it acquired four licences around the area known as “the ruby belt.” Earlier this year, Shetty told MINING.com he believed the company was in position to start mining those assets “very soon.”

The company has also expressed interest in grabbing the Bunder diamond project in India, which former owner Rio Tinto (ASX, LON:RIO) gifted to the state government of Madhya Pradesh, where the shelved mine is located, in February last year.

“We were eying this project for a while. That is the reason we hired the top management team that headed that project,” Shetty said last month. “We have submitted our intent to the state government to begin exploration on this site and are waiting for the government to auction the mine,” he told Business Standard.

According to Rio Tinto, Bunder (monkey in Hindi) is a top-class diamond deposit with the capacity to generate about 30,000 jobs and produce up to 3 million carats a year.

Fura Gems finds giant emerald at historic Coscuez mine in Colombia

Some of the emeralds recovered at Coscuez during the first weeks of the bulk-sampling program. (Image courtesy of Fura Gems.)