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Gemfields' 3Q Kagem Production -45%

May 4, 2014 4:06 AM   By Deena Taylor
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RAPAPORT... Gemfields reported that emerald and beryl  production at its Kagem mine in Zambia dropped 45 percent year on year to 3.6 million carats during the third quarter that ended on March 31, with the decline in output attributed to unseasonably high amounts of rainfall in the country coupled with grade volatility, which impacted mining during the period.

Ian Harebottle, the CEO of Gemfields, said that  operations at the mine remained robust, "with Kagem in a strong position to benefit from an anticipated improvement in grades and achieve overall production volume 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 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 with 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 the middle of June.

Gemfields reported that revenue from its Fabergé retail brand jumped 134 percent year on year in the quarter, continuing the momentum achieved in the previous quarter. Sales were supported by Fabergé exhibits at the Basel show and the Doha Jewellery & Watches Exhibition in Qatar.

Gemfields closed the quarter with $26.7 million in cash and cash equivalents and total debt outstanding of $8 million.
Tags: Deena Taylor, emeralds, Gemfields, Ian Harebottle, Kagem, Montepuez, rubies
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