Gemfields quarterly production rises on higher emerald grades

Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:45am EST

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Jan 30 (Reuters) - Emerald miner Gemfields Plc said production in the second quarter rose 69 percent owing to higher grades recovered at its Kagem mine in Zambia.

The company produced 6.6 million carats in the quarter ended Dec. 31 at Kagem, its only producing mine, up from 3.9 million carats last year.

Emerald grade for the quarter was 288 carats per tonne, compared with 222 carats per tonne a year earlier.

Gemfields said its ongoing large-scale waste movement programme at Kagem to open up new areas for future ore production was continuing according to plan.

"Management expects an overall increase in operating efficiencies and performance as the stripping ratio stabilises in the medium term, and as Kagem is able to mine both waste and ore more efficiently," the company said in a statement.

Gemfields mainly mines emeralds at its Kagem mine in Zambia, but also has interests in ruby and sapphire deposits.

In November, it agreed to buy luxury jeweller Faberge, the maker of lavish Easter eggs for Russia's last tsar, in a deal valued at $142 million.

Gemfields shares closed at 26.5 pence on Tuesday on the London Stock Exchange. They have risen about 18 percent in the past year.

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