Greenland Ruby Mine Hopes to Reopen in 2025
After halting mining operations this year, Greenland Ruby hopes to restart production at its Aappaluttoq deposit in 2025—once the company sells its current inventory.
Greenland Ruby’s success “was dependent on good mining but, even more important, good sales,” says Arnt-Eirik Rørnes, who was appointed the miner’s CEO in January.
“What we learned is that the mining went well but we were just piling up inventory. Basically, management and owners decided it was time to hold the mine and focus on sales.
“That basically means that we have to do a restructuring of the project. We started shutting down the mine in December. We still had people at the site for care and maintenance and, of course, for security. But in August we left the site.”
While sales of its rubies and sapphires have improved dramatically this year, “we still see that we had inventory at least through 2025,” Rørnes says. “We have made the decision to not mine this year, and not mine next year either. And then there will be a discussion of what to do in 2025. But it’s all dependent on the sales numbers. The focus now is to build up working capital.
“It is not sound just to keep mining,” he adds. “You need to get your market up and running. We are looking into the future of the mine, when it comes to 12-month running operations, in very, very harsh conditions. We are more looking into ‘campaign mining’—three or four months of mining—and the rest of the time focused on sales.”
From a market standpoint, “the challenge that Greenland Ruby ran into, particularly in the U.S. market, is we were the first Responsible Jewellery Council-certified mine,” says Michele Billam, Greenland Ruby’s chief sales and merchandising officer. “And with that came a lot of responsibility and credentialing. That was part of the slow approach coming to market initially because we felt like that was something we wanted to focus on and offer.”
It was also “difficult to break into what’s considered a very saturated market, being a new source,” Billam adds. “No one anticipated having a mine in Greenland with rubies and sapphires.”
The company is still “tweaking” its go-to-market strategy, which will mean less focus on high-end stones and more sales of commercial goods, she says.
She notes that it has seen success with jewelry sales at its boutique in Greenland’s capital of Nuuk, and it may expand that model elsewhere.
“We plan to sell stones within merchandise, as well as continuing our loose stone strategy,” she says.