First quarter figures show staggering increase in emerald and beryl.
Mining company Gemfields has released its Q1 2015 production report, citing drastic growth in its emerald and beryl stocks mined from Kagem, Zambia .
Emerald production from the 75%-owned Kagem mine in the quarter ending March 31 2015 rose to 9.9 million carats, versus 3.6m carats in the quarter ending March 31 2014. Grading also rose by 79%.
Operating costs increased to $9.8m, compared to $6.6m last year, while unit costs decreased to $0.99 per carat.
At auction, Gemfields’ lower quality rough emerald and beryl lots generated revenues of $14.5m in February 2015.
In terms of rubies, production at the 75%-owned Mountepuez mine in Mozambique totalled approximately 1.4m carats for the first quarter, versus 1.1m last year. The company experienced a drop in grading per tonne to 38 carats in Q1 2014, to 18 carats in Q1 2015.
However, the total operating costs almost doubled this year to $4.6m from $2.4m in the quarter ending March 31 2015. Unit operating costs also rose, totalling $3.29 per carat, versus $2.18 per carat.
Wholly owned Fabergé Ltd saw the value of sale orders during the first quarter increase by 64% when compared to the same period last year.
Ian Harebottle, chief executive officer of Gemfields, commented: “This quarter has once again delivered pleasing results for Gemfields. We have achieved considerable increases in production volumes at both the Kagem and Montepuez mining operations, underpinned by constant growth in market demand for these products as is evidenced by the ongoing successes achieved at our auctions, all of which validates our decision to expand the scale of the operations across our key sites.
“These results are further supported by the overwhelmingly positive response Fabergé has received from so many sources for its newly unveiled product lines and which was once again evidenced by a healthy increase in the number and value of sales orders placed.”
Gemfields’ next auction will be of traded rough emerald and is scheduled to take place in Jaipur, India alongside the Montepuez ruby auction in April 2015.