AIM-listed gemstone miner Gemfields revealed that production for the quarter ended 31 March 2013 from its principal asset, the Kagem mine in Zambia, put in another solid performance.

The company said that gemstone production increased by 33% to 6.5 million carats during the quarter under review, up from 4.9 million carats in the quarter ending 31 March 2012, while grade for the quarter increased to 265 carats per ton from 236 carats per ton in the quarter to 31 March 2012.

Unit production costs for the quarter reduced by 34% to US$0.56 per carat from US$0.85 per carat in the quarter to 31 March 2012. Cash rock handling unit costs also reduced by 18% to US$3.06 per ton compared to US$3.73 per ton in the quarter to 31 March 2012.

Meanwhile, Gemfields noted that it achieved revenues of US$15.2 million from the recent auction in Lusaka, Zambia, adding that this was a record for lower quality auctions.

The company advised that bulk sampling activities continue at the Montepuez ruby deposit in Mozambique, with the first auction of rough rubies likely to take place in the first calendar quarter of 2014. Also, Gemfields confirmed the acquisition of 100% of the globally recognised Fabergé jewellery brand completed in January 2013.

Gemfields is pleased to report the results of another positive quarter for the company. Gemstone carats produced at Kagem increased 33% when compared to the same quarter in the last financial year. We also achieved record revenues from our most recent auction of lower quality rough emerald and beryl, despite a small drop in the average per carat price achieved. We continue to seek to address the possible ban on foreign auctions by the Ministry of Mines in Zambia and – in that light – we are delighted to be hosting the first-of-its-kind ‘2013 Zambian Emerald Summit’ in Lusaka at the end of this month to facilitate discussion among all of the key emerald sector stakeholders,” said Gemfields’ CEO Ian Harebottle.

The next auction of higher quality emerald and beryl is scheduled for 10 to 14 June 2013 in Singapore, while the company also revealed that it will be hosting the 2013 Zambian Emerald Summit in Lusaka, Zambia on 30 and 31 May 2013.

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