DUSHANBE, August 2, Asia-Plus - More than US$14 million are needed for development of the ruby mines “Snezhny” in Gorno Badakhshan, according to information from the Ministry of Industry.

            The source says investments are needed for modernization of equipment and technologies at this mines.  The source has added that many foreign investors showed interest in participation in the development of the “Snezhny” ruby mines in Gorno Badakhshan.  “At present ruby at these mines is being produced in a very small amount,” said the Asia-Plus interlocutor, “The mining works at the “Snezhny” ruby mines are carried out not more than 2-3 months a year because of hard weather conditions.”  The “Jamast” State Unitary Enterprise is working on these mines, and annually production of ruby at the “Snezhny” mines amounts to 500,000 Somonis, according to the source.         

The source says it is unprofitable for Tajikistan to export mined gemstones as raw materials.  “This year, the Ministry of Finance has purchased special equipment for processing gemstones inside the republic,” the Asia-Plus interlocutor said.  

Tajikistan has two known gemstone mines – the ruby mines “Snezhny” in the Murgab district of Gorno Badakhshan and the flawless spinel mines “Koohi Lal” in the Ishkashim district of Gorno Badakhshan.  US$9 million are needed from development for the “Koohi Lal” mines. 

The “Snezhny” mines contain an estimated 52,426 carats of ruby, and the “Koohi Lal” mines contain an estimated more than 11 million carats of flawless spinel.  

According to World Mining Report, the gemstone wealth of Tajikistan is relatively untapped, yet it is known to have a significant amount of high-quality ruby and flawless spinel. Many of these gemstones are finding their way to Pakistan and Afghanistan , where they are sold locally; dealers will find that prices are lower in Tajikistan because of a lack of knowledge of the industry.