Samples run through a pilot plant have recovered sapphires and work is underway to finalise the pit design, layout and mining plan.
The company expects commercial production to start next month with June to see first sales under the Capricorn brand.
Bernard Olivier, Richland Resources’ chief executive, said: "Mining has started and we are now readying Pit 1 for commercial production.
“This is a significant milestone for Richland as we bring our experience in gemstone mining to Australia. Richland is approaching full mine start in a structured manner and following reports submitted by independent mining consultants we are undertaking infill drilling to help us finalise pit design.”
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