Mustang Managing Director Christiaan Jordaan has quit the miner just weeks after a disastrous first auction of its gems in Mauritius. 

A statement today said directors had “reluctantly” accepted Mr Jordaan’s resignation, effective today. He will stay on as a non-executive director.

Chairman Ian Daymond will step in as interim executive chairman until a new managing director is appointed.

Mr Daymond thanked Mr Jordaan for the “crucial” role he had played in growing the company since his appointment in February last year.

“Mustang has been transformed under Christiaan’s leadership,” he said. “He has worked successfully and incredibly hard on advancing the company’s mineral projects.”

Mr Jordaan’s exit comes after the miner revealed earlier this month it had sold only eight of 21 schedules it put up for tender, with bids for the remaining 13 schedules to be held over for another auction next year.

Mustang said it accepted bids for just 29,463 carats of the 405,000 carats of stones it took to the auction, with bids ranging from $6 to $1944 per carat.

Debate had raged on social media and stock market forums about the value and quality of the rubies Mustang took to the three-day event and attracted at least 42 buyers from around the world.

But Mustang blamed disappointing results reflected inadequate volumes of stones in each of its categories, rather than the quality of its rubies.

Mr Daymond said the company continued to receive valuable feedback from the auction and planned to make a further announcement later this week on future ruby exploration and marketing strategies.

Mr Jordaan said he was proud of the miner’s achievements over his 18 months at the helm.

“I am proud to have led Mustang Resources as it grew from a junior exploration company to becoming a new entrant in the ruby sector in such a very short period and to having one of the world’s highest-grade graphite projects, the Caula graphite project, with the recently announced maiden JORC inferred mineral resource.”

Mustang had planned to begin upgrading its processing plant at Montepuez but said it would delay the expansion to cut expenditure and focus on plans for its second tender next year.