Gemfields plc – Record Rough Emerald Sales in Johannesburg: $19.6m

Gemfields plc – Record Rough Emerald Sales in Johannesburg: $19.6m

Highlights

  • Record single auction revenue of USD 19.6 million, versus prior record of USD 7.5 million in July 2010 and exceeding the total auction revenue of USD 18.7 million from FY 2010;
  • Total year to date revenue (July and December Auctions) is USD 27.1 million;
  • Per carat prices improved by 180% over the July 2010 auction;
  • Five auctions held since July 2009 have generated revenues totalling USD 45.8 million;
  • Exceptional 720 carat emerald crystal sets new Gemfields record for ‘value per carat’;
  • Auction underpins rising global demand for Gemfields’ ethical Zambian emeralds;
  • Gemfields’ next auction of (predominantly lower quality) rough emeralds and beryl is scheduled to take place during March 2011.

 
Emerald and Beryl Auctions
Gemfields held an auction of (predominantly higher quality) rough emeralds in Johannesburg from 6 to 10 December 2010. The auction was attended by 32 companies drawn from India, Israel, Germany and the United States. The auction saw 0.87 million carats placed on offer, with 0.75 million carats being sold generating record sales of USD 19.6 million.  This single auction exceeds the USD 18.7 million generated from the three emerald auctions held during the 2009/10 financial year. 
 
Coloured gemstone deposits are “pockety” in nature. Accordingly, the grade and quality of production varies widely from month to month. Kagem (Gemfields’ flagship mine in Zambia) experienced a period of high quality production and this, together with the implementation of Gemfields’ vision of delivering transparent route to market ethical emeralds to the industry, lead to significant unit price increases. The emeralds sold at the auction achieved an average of USD 26.20 per carat, a price increase of some 180% over the USD 9.35 achieved at the July 2010 auction in London.
 
In particular, an exceptionally rare and magnificent 720 carat emerald crystal set a new Gemfields record in terms of the achieved value per carat. The crystal was acquired by renowned father-and-son dealers Raj Kumar and Rishabh Tongya of Precious              Jewels Corporation, who have since named it “The Divine Green of Zambia”.
 
Gemfields has now completed five auctions in the past 18 months, realising revenues totalling USD 45.8 million. The results of the December 2010 auction are summarised below, together with those from the four preceding auctions held in London, Johannesburg and Jaipur:
 
Ian Harebottle, CEO of Gemfields, commented:
 
“This was a highly successful auction indicative of the quality of some of our recent production and strong corroboration for our strategy of bringing a regular and reliable supply of ethically-mined emeralds and beryl, from a responsible source, to the market. There is a clear increase in demand for our ethical Zambian emeralds and while it is a little surprising that some parties are yet to grasp the inherent value in what Gemfields and our distribution partners are able to offer discerning consumers, today’s outstanding sales speak for themselves and demonstrate the progress we have made with our marketing strategies. Moreover, our pioneering and proprietary emerald grading system has set new standards and continues to mitigate pricing risk for our clients. Today’s record auction follows Kagem’s recent record quarterly production of 12.8 million carats and underpins our belief that Gemfields is entering into an exceptionally exciting phase of its development”.

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