July 22 Emerald miner Gemfields Plc said
it sold a little over half a million carats of rough stones at
its first high-quality emerald auction in Lusaka, Zambia, raking
in $31.5 million.
Gemfields, owner of the Fabergé luxury jewellery brand, said
it realised an average price of $54 per carat, its highest in an
The Zambian Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development
issued a directive in April that all auctioning of emeralds
mined in the country be held in Zambia, as their sale in foreign
markets contributes to capital flight.
Gemfields was selling output from its core Kagem mine in
north Zambia outside the country until the government directive
came into force.
Gemfields had forecast a 46 percent fall in auction revenue
for the year ended June 30 as it was forced to move this auction
from Singapore to Lusaka. The delay pushed the resultant auction
revenue to the current fiscal year.
Of the 40 companies invited to the Lusaka auction, 37
attended, and 36 attendees placed at least one bid, the company
"All indications show that demand for coloured gemstones,
and especially emeralds, will continue to increase at a steady
pace over the coming year," Chief Executive Ian Harebottle said
in a statement.
Gemfields shares were up 5 percent in thin trading at 21.6
pence at 0727 GMT on the London Stock Exchange on Monday.