By JAMES KUNDA –
GLOBAL emerald mining giant Gemfields Plc has recorded a revenue growth of US$38 million in 2013, an interim six-month financial report has disclosed.
The London Stock Exchange listed firm which owns a 75 per cent stake in Kagem emerald mine raised $65.7 million in 2013 compared to $27.7m in the last six months ended December, 2012.
Gemfields chairperson Graham Mascall said the results highlight a strong operational and financial performance at Gemfields.
Mr Mascall said the production and auction results from Gemfields’ Zambian unit, Kagem, highlights the firm’s commitment and ability to deliver concrete performances.
“Kagem’s headline numbers remain robust. The mine produced 10.4m carats of emerald and beryl at a grade of 267 carats per tonne.
“Kagem also paid its first ever dividend of $8 million in December, of which $2 million was paid to the Government of Zambia, our partner in Kagem.
These undertakings evidence Gemfield’s belief in Zambia’s role as an eminent location on the international auction circuit and in global demand growth for our ethically sourced and consistently supplied coloured gemstones,” Mr Mascall said.
On the same development, Gemfields chief executive officer Ian Harebottle said the firm has absorbed not only the increased cash requirements, but Kagem is now a fully tax-paying entity.
“Kagem has distributed its first dividend to our partners in Kagem, the Government of Zambia and demand for coloured gemstones remained upbeat as is clearly indicated by the record per carat prices we continue to achieve,” Mr Harebottle said.
Kagem’s unaudited total operating costs excluding capitalised waste stripping costs for the six months ending 31 December, 2013 increased to 4.8 per cent and totalled $8.8 million.
This was impacted on by the slightly lower than average production volumes which resulted in an average production cost during the period, of U$0.85 per carat of emerald.
In February 2014, the Group held an auction of predominantly higher quality rough emeralds in Lusaka.
A total of 615,007 carats were sold, representing the bulk of the quantity offered and generating $36.5 million.
The auction yielded an average of $59.31 per carat representing a 10 per cent increase over the previous high of $54 per carat achieved by Kagem at the July, 2013 auction in Lusaka.