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Public Company Sapphire Mining

Those of you familiar with sapphire mining in Australia will know that most is done by small individual operators.  Involvement of public companies has not always been successful with Cluff Resources and Great Northern Resources exiting the sapphire industry to pursue other more lucrative minerals.

While the above mentioned companies have repositioned their business in a purposeful and sensible way, Great Northern in particular having some years of successful mining under their belt, others have had more trouble coping with the particular challenges of the sapphire industry.  A case in point is Australis – this company is currently suspended from the ASX, has been under administration for an extended period and is a good example of what can go wrong.

A new company that plans to list on the stockmarket very soon has released a prospectus with plans to operate in our own region – Glen Innes and Inverell.  The company is Australian Gemstone House – managing director is Pnina Feldman.  EDITED TO ADD:  Please note that we have been requested by Dr Pecover to remove inaccurate material from this post.  The link to the upcoming float on the ASX is no longer valid and so has been edited to point to the AGH website.  The article on the Business Spectator has been removed by that organisation – the comments below are based on reading the hard copy in the Australian Financial Review – any issues with the accuracy of that article should be taken up with the journalist concerned.

There have been some questions raised with an article in the Financial Review this week – we read the article from the paper itself but you need to be a subscriber to read it online – see this link from the Business Spectator to read more about the issues.  We should point out that the miners mentioned in this article are not us, we have had no contact with the writers of the article and are making no statement on the upcoming float – it is for others to assess the prospectus.  Obviously we are following these developments with great interest.

Finally, we should mention Van Dieman Mines which have been operating in Tasmania at a development stage for some time.  It is our understanding that this company is yet to commence commercial operation as a sapphire/tin miner with the most recent update in late August.  One interesting development is the joint venture with Columbia Gem House to brand sapphire from this operation as “Tasmin Blue” – hopefully this will succeed although we suggest that Columbia could develop this market a lot quicker by talking to those actually producing sapphire now – proven miners who can get gems to the market consistently and cost-effectively.

While the public companies may have the profile, it is often the private operators who can do the job more efficiently since we can just get in there and concentrate on production rather than stock market announcements.  Perhaps Australian Gemstone House and Van Dieman Mines will succeed where others have failed – we will all just have to wait and see.