RAPAPORT... Gemfields plc reported production of emerald and beryl for the fiscal year that ended on June 30 fell 36 percent year on year to 21.1 million carats. Operating costs rose approximately 12 percent year on year to $15.7 million. Gemfields recorded $36.7 million in cash on hand and outstanding debt of $2.9 million at the close of its fiscal year.
The gemstone mining company concluded that despite a slightly reduced demand for lower-quality goods at its Jaipur auction in June, demand for ethical emeralds continues to remain firm across all major markets.
In a report to investors, Gemfields confirmed that illegal mining activity continues within the boundaries of its Kagem mining license in Zambia, however, it continues to work with the government to alleviate this risk. Additionally, Gemfields said its Montepuez ruby mine in Mozambique is on track to commence bulk sampling in the coming quarter.
Ian Harebottle, the chief executive of Gemfields, said, ''On the back of solid demand for Gemfields’ products, pleasing stock levels and healthy cash balances, our decision to focus primarily on mine development and waste mining during the past year is, I believe, well justified.
''Despite some early minor delays and slightly lower than anticipated full year production volume, the past few quarters have continued to deliver improving production, a trend that is likely to continue in the near term. This, together with the progress that has been achieve at our Mozambican ruby mine, provides management with the confidence that the coming year will continue to underpin Gemfields’ ambitious growth plans,'' he said.
Gemfields' next high-quality rough emerald auction is scheduled to take place in Singapore between October 29 and November 3.