“We strongly believe that Richland is well placed with our gemstone supply chain structures as consumers become increasingly selective regarding the origin and ethical nature of consumer products".

01 Nov 2017 - Richland Resources Ltd’s (LON:RLD) Capricorn sapphire operations were hindered by mine rehabilitation ahead of the upcoming wet season, nonetheless, the company believes it remains “well positioned”.

“Each Capricorn Sapphire gemstone ensures quality, environmental best practice under Queensland and Australian mining law and both safe and ethical operational practices,” said Bernard Olivier, Richland chief executive.

“We strongly believe that Richland is well placed with our gemstone supply chain structures as consumers become increasingly selective regarding the origin and ethical nature of consumer products."

Olivier also highlighted that the company is adapting its sales strategy, to combat an influx of uncertified stones into the marketplace.

To this end, the company is moving from a model based on smaller monthly sales to ‘larger and more strategic’ gemstone sales events.

"Sapphire prices remain under pressure from the influx of sapphires from Madagascar mined in an environmentally protected area by approximately 50,000 unlicensed, illegal, small-scale miners (estimation by the Gemological Institute of America),” Olivier said.

“Capricorn Sapphire continues to focus on developing sales channels for its ethically and socially responsibly mined product with an equally socially aware customer base.”

The Australian mining operation achieved third-quarter production of 1.06mln carats, with the average grade stated at 17.9 carats per tonne.

It noted that the quarter’s output was around 140,000 carats short of the 1.2mln carat production target for the period because of the significant rehabilitation that was required during the period.

Olivier said the company was “clearly disappointed” that the production target was missed.

The company expects to hold its next sales event in early November.

Read more at Proactive Investors UK.

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