GEMFIELDS generated $31.4m in emerald sales, taking aggregate sales in coloured gems so far this year to $90.3m – described by the company as “very satisfactory from which to approach the rest of the year”.
“Gemfields is excited to be back in business after the lengthy pause in both mining and sales,” said the firm’s MD of product and sales, Adrian Banks, in a statement today to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
The company had earlier this month announced ruby sales from its Montepuez operation in Mozambique. Today’s sales announcement was for emeralds mined before the cessation of operations in March last year from the Kagem mine in Zambia.
Kagem is currently building up production capacity following the year-long Covid-19 lockdowns. Sales were from a series of mini-auctions held in March and April. A total of 59 companies placed bids with an average value of $115.59 per carat.
“This was Kagem’s highest auction revenue since March 2016 and we were very pleased to see such strong demand and pricing,” said Banks.
“Because operations were suspended at Kagem in March 2020, the world’s largest emerald mine produced no new emeralds for more than a year,” he said.
Gemfields reported a net loss of R1.4bn for the 12 months ended December. Compared to the previous year’s R566m profit, that’s a reversal in fortune year-on-year of roughly R2bn. The performance supports CEO, Sean Gilbertson’s remark that the company had endured a “grisly” year in 2020.