NEWS RELEASE: Eradicating A Centuries Old Gender Barrier/First-Ever All-Female Emerald Mining Team Launched by FURA Gems (October 29, 2018)

Women in Colombia Take a Big Leap Forward in Male Dominated Industry

At the second World Emerald Symposium in Bogota this month, Fura Gems launched its All-Female Wash Plant Project, the first of its kind not only in the gemstone industry, but also in the mining sector.

Traditionally, women in West Boyaca have contributed to emerald mining as barequeras, washing tailings to find rough emerald, but until now had only been employed for formal work in areas such as general services, (kitchen and cleaning) at the Coscuez Emerald Mine.

Women in West Boyaca led the charge by expressing the desire to take a more active role in emerald mining – seeking out employment from Fura Gems.

The women working in the wash plant completed a safety and mining competencies course in their initial months at Fura Gems. They have also been trained to wash, sort, and grade emeralds at a temporary facility, with a modernized installation being prepared for Q1 of 2019.

The new plant will require a minimum of 30 women to run it; roles will include material feeding, picking, loading, recording, security and pump and equipment managing, and electrical repairs, with all roles being carried out entirely by women.

The Future of Columbia Emeralds Lies in It’s People

Fura Gems sees a bright future in Columbia, specifically in the Coscuez region, not only as an income-generating opportunity but an opportunity to improve the welfare of the people and communities that live there. Fura is investing in the future of the community and thus ensuring that mistakes of past mining operations (wars, etc.) don’t befall on their own operation.

They are dedicated in promoting the social and economic welfare of the community in which they operate.- 33% of the community relies on emerald mining for their livelihood – Fura is implementing a large CSR footprint in order to better their employees and the community. English lessons were introduced in April, with teachers giving lessons in Coscuez so that the community is able to better their future income opportunities.

Programs to improve communication channels and socialization with the world are almost finalized including giving access to Facebook, radio, Magazines and community information boards that are regularly updated. They are even training locals and have built out a bakery facility to provide fresh baked goods every day throughout Coscuez.
The World’s Most Important Emerald Mine Sees Reform Under New Ownership – A Look Into The History of The Coscuez Mine

•Columbian Coscuez emeralds have been traced to being traded as early as 1000 AD by pre-Colombian tribes. And in 1558, after 4 other previous attempts, the Spaniards in their conquest of South America, took over the Coscuez region after defeating the Muzos Indians, the most warlike and ferocious Indians in the region.

The Spaniards were enticed after soldiers found emerald crystals in the craws. Coscuez emeralds are among the finest in the world, a top stone from coscuez sold in new york for over $25,000 USD per caratUnder new ownership, the Coscuez Emerald Mine in Colombia hopes to once again find the world’s greatest emeralds. Theemerald deposits of Coscuez have remained largely untouched for 32 million years.

•The Coscuez mine has earned its reputation by producing some of the world’s finest emeralds, such as the 7,000-carat Emilia EmeraldCrystal — the largest ever discovered.

•The Coscuez mine has been around for centuries, but it’s just now being utilized to its full potential with Fura Gems. After extensive repair and infrastructure maintenance they were able to start production last month. Everyday they have new emeralds that are drawn from the mine – including an exceptional 25 carat emerald they named the ÄRE emerald. Large pieces are found everyday from 10 to 15 carats.

Rupak is available to speak to you about any of the above stories.

About Fura Gems:

Fura Gems Inc. is a gemstone mining and marketing company which is engaged in the mining, exploration and acquisition of gemstone licences. Fura’s headquarters are located in Toronto, Canada and its administrative headquarters are located in the Almas Tower, Dubai. Fura is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol “FURA”.

Fura is engaged in the exploration of resource properties in Colombia and owns a 76% interest in the Coscuez Emerald Mine in Boyacá, Colombia and a 100% interest in the emerald licence ECH -121. Fura is involved in the exploration and mining of rubies in Mozambique through its 80% effective interest in the four ruby licences (4392, 3868, 3869 and 6811) that it acquired in November 2017.

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