Gemfields racks up $95.6m at ruby auction

GEMFIELDS reported ruby sales of $95.6m (R1.53bn) at a recent auction this month which was twice the value of an action held at the same time three years ago, said BusinessLive citing an announcement by the UK-listed firm.

Robust global demand has also seen Gemfields recently report record results for an emerald auction, with MD of product and sales Adrian Banks saying on Monday the group’s first half auction revenue now stands at $181m, exceeding a prior first half record of $93m set in 2018.

“While we would caution that second-half revenues are unlikely to match the remarkable first half, today’s auction results again underscore the extent of the step-change being experienced in the market,” BusinessLive quoted Banks to have said.

London and JSE-listed Gemfields, established in 2007, held its first significant emerald in Thailand in May, saying recently it achieved its highest average price per carat achieved at any of its 41 emerald auctions since July 2009.

The June ruby auction achieved average sales per carat of $246.69, while an auction in June 2019 achieved $51.99 per carat.

Gemfields, whose two key operating assets are Montepuez ruby mine in Mozambique and the Kagem emerald mine in Zambia, is highly dependent on auction revenue. However, in 2020 Covid-19 brought travel to a halt and therefore viewings, with the group developing an online auction system in response.