Gemfields Reports Q3 Figures: Emerald Production Down, Ruby Production Rises


Releasing its production figures for the quarter ended September 30, 2016, coloured gemstone miner Gemfields reported a rise in the production of ruby and corundum from the Montepuez mine, even as emerald production at the Kagem mine dipped. The miner said that such variations were a result of the varied nature of the mineralisation at these locations.

Gemfields confirmed that fluctuations notwithstanding, plans remain on schedule to meet annual target production of 40m carats of rough emeralds from the Kagem mine and 20m carats of rough rubies from the Montepuez mine within the next three years.

Giving details, the miner said thhat production of ruby and corundrum at its 75%-owned Montepuez mine in Mozambique was 4.5 mn carats in the quarter, with an average grade of 44 carats per tonne. This represented a massive rise as compared to the 0.5 mn tonnes in same quarter of 2015, when the average grade was seven carats per tonne. Total operating costs stood at US$5.8 mn, down from US$6.1 mn the year before. Unit operating costs were $1.29 per carat down from $12.20 last year as a result of the increase in carats produced.

The next auction of rough rubies will take place in December 2016 in Singapore.

At the 75%-owned Kagem emerald mine in Zambia, production stood at 6 mn carats of emerald and beryl with an average grade of 174 carats per tonne, as against the production of 7.5 mn carats at an average grade of 237 carats per tonne a year earlier. Operating costs fell 10.5% to US$ 10.2 mn, while unit operating costs were US$ 1.70 per carat, up from US$ 1.52 last year.

About US$ 10.7 mn was generated from an emerald auction in September in Jaipur, India, at an average value of US$ 3.28 per carat and the next auction is also scheduled for December in Singapore.

At the end of September the company had US$ 24.1mn in cash and total debt stood at US$ 49.4 mn.

Gemfields CEO Ian Harebottle said, “At Kagem, production remains consistent and operating costs saw a reduction on the corresponding period last year, while Montepuez continues to generate strong results. The increased processing capacity and efficiency have seen us achieve exceptional production.”

In a separate announcement, Gemfields announced that chief financial officer Janet Boyce would be joining the board with immediate effect.

“She has built a strong track record ever since she joined the Gemfields group and has a robust insight into the manifold aspects of our business. Her positive, dynamic and thorough approach will further enhance the well-established proficiencies of our experienced and long-standing board,” Harebottle said.

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