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Fura Seeks Gemstone, Diamond Mines In India; Will Supply Local Cutters

Fura CEO Dev Shetty

Gemstone mining and marketing company Fura Gems Inc. announced that it plans to pursue various gemstone mining projects in India and will market its global coloured gemstone portfolio in India. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada and with its administrative headquarters at the Almas Tower in Dubai, Fura said it has started operating in India in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Fura recently announced the acquisition of the iconic Coscuez emerald mine in Colombia. The company has also entered into a purchase agreement to enter the exploration and mining of rubies in Mozambique through the proposed acquisition of an 80 percent effective interest in four ruby licences and the submission of an application for an additional ruby licences.

Commenting on the expansion, Fura President and CEO Dev Shetty said, "We are delighted to expand Fura's wings into the Indian market. We aim to run more efficient, smarter and safer gemstone mining and marketing operations. Coloured gemstones and diamonds have always been part of the Indian culture. This gave birth to the unique jewellery pieces studded with chunky, coloured gemstones and diamonds.”

He went on to say, “Today, India is the third largest jewellery consuming country in the world and a great hub for gemstones. At present, the Indian gems and jewellery market is highly fragmented, but is rapidly transforming into an organised sector due to the growing acceptance of the branded jewellery market. We are focusing to create awareness and education about Fura's portfolio and mining operations including the ones that will be in India. Within India, Fura is actively looking for mining opportunities in diamonds and coloured gemstones like emeralds, rubies and sapphires as a product category."

Fura says that with its vision to create an employee-friendly, sustainability-driven and community-centred enterprise aims to build a sustainable, transparent and organized supply chain platform. The company plans to combine human experience with machine intelligence and provide more advanced mining support to the Indian operations team without any environmental damage.

Speaking about the opportunity, Shetty further commented, "India expects to attract ₹1 trillion ($15 billion) in investment over five years, to double mining output. It has rich sources of gemstones and has favourable geological milieu which is yet to be fully explored, assessed and exploited. In line with the goal of nation building, efforts are being made by policymakers in India to create a robust and vast system for natural resource companies. The recent amendment of The Mines & Minerals (Development & Regulation Act), which governs the mineral sector is a great step towards organising the industry and thereby opening opportunities for many natural resource companies.”

Shetty continued, “As India is the world's largest cutting and polishing centre, — Surat for diamonds and Jaipur for emeralds — it relies heavily on imports of rough gemstones for its jewellery consumption. Fura is looking to acquire mining projects in India and work with the respective central and state governments to reduce the reliance on import of the gemstones."

Shetty noted, ”If we are able to source the licenses either via government auctions or joint ventures with existing players, we will expand the team for the next phase of exploration and mining. This team will be supported by the corporate office. India has been the key market from both, the trade and consumer perspectives and we will be adopting a two-way approach.”

He went on, “The first approach will be to work with the trade partners who are going to be Fura's clients to source rough gemstones. This will assist them in marketing and promoting the gemstones that they will be buying from us and hence will be more business-to-business focused. The second approach will still remain business-to-business, but with partners who have a business-to-consumer presence. This is where education and training will be an important element of Fura's marketing division.”

Shetty ended by saying, “We will therefore be recruiting team members starting from December 2017 this year and expanding as we start distribution of our rough gemstone to the market. We therefore see our presence in the key markets being Mumbai, Jaipur, Delhi and Surat in coming years.”

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