Twenty-nine companies placed bids in Aim-listed Gemfields’ second auction of production from its 75%-owned Kagem mine, in Zambia, in the current financial year, with 4.45-million carats of the 5.07-million carats of lower-quality emerald on offer sold, generating $19.2-million. The auction, held in Jaipur, India, from November 18 to 21, marked the first sale of predominantly lower-quality rough emerald outside Zambia since June 2012, and realised an overall average value of $4.32/ct, a new record for lower-quality emerald auctions. Since 2009, Gemfields had held 20 auctions of emeralds and beryl mined at Kagem, generating a combined $379-million.
The auction proceeds were fully repatriated to Kagem Mining in Zambia, with all royalties due to the Zambia government being paid on the full sales price achieved at the auction.
“Our return to Jaipur has delivered a knock-out result at a time when global commodity and diamond prices are experiencing well-documented difficulties. Despite the volatility across international financial markets, demand for, and prices of, emeralds clearly remain as robust as ever. “The counter-market cyclicality often associated with precious gemstones and their reputation as a store of value in turbulent times, have once again shone through,” Gemfields CEO Ian Harebottle commented.
In addition to the auction of gemstones mined by Gemfields at Kagem, the Jaipur event was also used to host a traded auction of predominantly higher-quality emeralds originating from Zambia and Brazil and obtained by Gemfields in the open market from various sources. The traded auction yielded additional gross revenue of $1.1-million with 20 400 ct sold. Gemfields’ next auction would be held in Singapore, in December. Based on current market demand, it would predominantly offer mixed lots of ruby and corundum from the company’s 75%-owned Montepuez deposit, in Mozambique.