Gemfields’ sales rise; profits slip

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 Gemfields’ sales rise; profits slipGemfields’ CEO Ian Harebottle, described the year that ended June 30, 2015 as ‘strong year of growth and performance for Gemfields in which we have achieved record revenues and met or exceeded production guidance at each of our Kagem emerald and Montepuez ruby operations.’

The company’s sales rose, from US$160.1 million the previous year to US$171.4 million. But profits dropped from
US$16.3 million in the previous year to US$12.3 million.

The company stated that at its 75 percent owned Kagem mine, annual production of emerald and beryl increased from 20.2 million carats as of last year to 30.1 million carats. At the mine, there was an average grade of 242 carats per tonne, inclusive of ore from bulk sampling pits (2014: 253 carats per tonne). Unit operating costs dropped from US$1.58(b) per carat to US$1.48 per carat.

At the 75 percent owned Montepuez mine annual production rose to 8.4 million carats of ruby and corundum from 6.5 million carats in the previous year, which the company attributed to continued upgrades to the wash plant design. The grade was 26 carats per tonne (2014: 41 carats per tonne). Ian Harebottle added, “Demand for coloured gemstones remained strong throughout the year, as is clearly demonstrated by the results of the six auctions held during the period which saw various record per carat prices being achieved. This is a reflection of our continued marketing campaigns, the market’s recognition of the quality of our coloured gemstones and the consistent way in which we are able to support the downstream sector’s business needs. Post year-end we have announced two independent studies for Kagem and Montepuez, with both of these serving to further highlight Gemfields’ long term growth potential.” He also noted that at Kagem, the company would undertake what is believed to be ‘the world’s first gemstone reserve in the proven category together with a 25 year life of mine and increasing production to 40-45 million carats per annum’. The company cites global appreciation and demand for coloured gemstone increasing at a steady pace.



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