The insurgency in Cabo Delgado hit foreign investments in the province today, with a dawn raid on a ruby mine operated by the Indian-owned Gemrock, next door to Gemfields’ more famous Montepuez Ruby Mine, which has since evacuated non-security staff.

The attack will again have a chilling effect on miners in the province, who had returned to work after the deadly attack on Grafex in June, but may find this one harder to put behind them. Nevertheless, the rewards for continuing to mine in Cabo Delgado are great. Gemrock this month held its first ruby auction in Bangkok; it did not share revenue figures, but said its Mozambican rubies garnered “an extremely good response” from buyers. Another miner in Montepuez, Fura Gems, is running an auction in Bangkok this week.

Not much further to the west is the Balama graphite mine of Syrah Resources, the Australian company which was today toasting a $220m grant from the US Department of Energy, and a new MoU on supplying graphite to another major battery producer in the US. The Balama mine is contending with ongoing industrial action, however, and will also be keeping a wary eye on the insurgency which is getting ever closer.

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