Gemfields Plc, the London-based mining company specializing in the mining , processing and sale of colored gemstones, with major mining interests in Zambia and Mozambique has announced strong sales at its Singapore auction of rough rubies extracted from its Montepuez ruby mine in Mozambique, held from December 12 to 16, 2016, realizing total sales of US$30.4 million. Out of a total of 1,372,145 carats offered at the auction 1,094,406 carats were sold, working out to 80% by weight and 85% by market value. The auction was the first ruby sale for the 2016/2017 fiscal year, which began on July 1, 2016 and registered the fourth highest auction result for rubies to date, realizing a price-per-carat value of US$27.79. Total sales realized so far by seven Montepuez ruby auctions held since June 2014 is US$225.7 million.
A total of 39 companies placed bids at the auction which offered top commercial grade rough rubies, both treated and untreated. The treated lots, using treatment techniques accepted in the industry was offered at the auction on a fully-disclosed basis.
A spokesman for the company said, “The quality and quantity of the goods placed on offer was developed in response to market feedback which showed growing demand for rough rubies suited to the production of high quality jewelry as well as larger volume production runs, thereby allowing a broad cross-section of product to be placed on offer. The improved reliability of supply and the consistency of the Gemfields grading system continues to be well received by the company’s clients as it facilitates reduced risk, improved manufacturing efficiencies and an increased ability to meet consumer demand.”
“Given the quality mix offered at this auction comprised a blend of varying qualities and sizes of material, a direct top-line comparison with the results of previous auctions is not feasible. On a quality for quality basis however, the per carat prices achieved continue to indicate good overall global demand when compared to previous auctions. The auction results, which saw 58 of the 76 lots offered being sold, provided a high level of support for the Company’s understanding of the current market demand profile, which was further supported by customer feedback received during the auction.”
For the current 2016/2017 financial year, Gemfields to date has registered an aggregate consolidated revenue of US$41.1 million, from all its rough gemstone auctions, which include emeralds and beryls from its Kagem mines in Zambia. Overall Gemfield’s auctions of rough gemstones from its Kagem emerald mine in Zambia and from the Montepuez ruby deposit in Mozambique have generated total revenues of US$662.9 million to date.
CEO of Gemfields, Ian Harebottle commenting on the results of the Singapore auctions said, “We are very pleased with the results of Gemfields’ seventh Montepuez ruby auction despite some of our customers being unable to attend while they adjust to the regional demonetization policy changes they’ve experienced over the past few weeks. The prices achieved at this auction, combined with the high percentage of the value sold, fully support our view of ongoing solid demand for responsibly sourced Mozambican rubies across key markets and categories. The recent prices obtained for fine cut-and-polished Mozambican rubies by international auction houses further underscore the exciting trajectory for rubies from Mozambique.”
The demonetization of the Indian 500 rupees and 1,000 rupees denomination currency notes has resulted in a liquidity crisis that has had a serious impact on the cash-oriented gem and jewelry trade. As a result, Gemfields was forced to postpone its high-quality Kagem emeralds auction due to be held in Singapore in December, 2016, to February 2017, as the company said that a majority of its customers for rough emeralds hailed from India . However, the company decided to go ahead with its Montepuez ruby auction on the basis that rubies have a more diversified customer base than emeralds, dominated by Thailand, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and China. The strong results of the Montepuez ruby auction at Singapore despite the ongoing demonetization crisis, has no doubt vindicated the stand taken by Gemfields.