Africa-focused Gemfields (LON: GEM) (JSE: GML) has achieved record revenue of $43.7 million in its latest emerald auction, held in the second half of May.
The mining company said it sold the 35 lots of high quality rough emeralds, 264,000 carats in total, at an average price of $165.55 per carat.
The auction’s proceeds will go to Zambia-based Kagem, the company that extracted the rough emeralds and which is 75% owned by Gemfields. The remaining 25% is held by the Industrial Development Corporation of Zambia.
“Gemfields’ second auction of 2023 has yielded a positively surprising outcome,” drian Banks, managing director of product and sales, said in the statement.
He added the company is seeing the market rebound sharply and that the latest results underpin a step-change in market pricing Gemfields is seeing since 2022.
The coloured gems miner has held 45 auctions of Kagem emeralds since 2009, with the latest achieving three records — highest-ever revenue, highest-ever average price per carat for an emerald auction and highest ever price per carat paid for a single auction lot.
Zambian emeralds tend to have a higher iron content than emeralds from other origins, which means they are less fragile. High iron content also means fewer surface-reaching fractures and less need for treatments and enhancements.