Gemfields reported that production of emeralds and beryl at the Kagem mine in Zambia dropped 45 percent year on year to 3.6 million carats during the third quarter that ended on March 31. The drop in output was a result of unseasonably high rainfall in Zambia coupled with grade volatility which impacted mining during the period.
Ian Harebottle, CEO of Gemfields assured that operations at the mine remain robust, “with Kagem in a strong position to benefit from an anticipated improvement in grades and achieve overall production volumes in line with management expectations.”
Harebottle noted that underlying gemstone markets remained healthy, supported by the ongoing increase in global demand for emeralds and other colored gemstones.
In February, the company recorded record revenue of $36.5 million from its rough emerald auction held in Lusaka. An auction of traded rough emeralds that were not obtained from the company’s mines, concluded in Jaipur on May 2.
The company extracted 1.2 million carats of ruby and corundum during bulk sampling at the Montepuez ruby mine in Mozambique, compared to 500,000 carats in the corresponding period one year ago.
Gemfields is currently fine-tuning a comprehensive grading and sorting framework for rough rubies and investigating various downstream ruby and corundum enhancement processes. The first auction of Montepuez rubies is scheduled to take place in Singapore in mid June.
Gemfields reported that revenue from its Fabergé retail brand jumped 134 percent year on year continuing the momentum from the previous quarter. Sales were supported by Fabergé exhibits at BASELWORLD and the Doha Jewellery & Watches Exhibition in Qatar.
Gemfields closed the quarter with $26.7 million cash and cash equivalents and total debt outstanding of $8 million.