Gemfields has reported an increase in its production levels as emerald and beryl production rose significantly during the first quarter (Q1) of 2015.
Production of emerald and beryl almost tripled in the first quarter of the year (ending March 31, 2015) at its 75%-owned Kagem mine with 9.9 million carats compared with 3.6 million carats during the same time period in 2014.
Total operating costs at the Kagem mine increased to $9.8m (£6.5m) during the quarter compared with $6.6m (£4.4m) last year, mainly due to the increased scale of mining activity being carried out.
In February 2015, Gemfields’ lower quality rough emerald and beryl auction in Zambia generated revenues of $14.5m (£9.7m).
The company also reported an increase in ruby production at its 75%-owned Montepuez ruby mine where around 1.4 million carats of ruby and corundum was extracted during the quarter- up from the 1.1 million carats during the same period last year.
Total operating costs at the Montepuez mine were $4.6m (£3m), almost double compared with the same period last year when total operating costs were $2.4m (£1.6m).
Fabergé, which is owned by Gemfields, reported that the value of sales orders agreed during the quarter increased by 64% compared with the same period last year.
Ian Harebottle, CEO of Gemfields, said:“This quarter has once again delivered pleasing results for Gemfields. We have achieved considerable increases in production volumes at both the Kagem and Montepuez mining operations, underpinned by constant growth in market demand for these products as is evidenced by the ongoing successes achieved at our auctions, all of which validates our decision to expand the scale of the operations across our key sites.
“These results are further supported by the overwhelmingly positive response Fabergé has received from so many sources for its newly unveiled product lines and which was once again evidenced by a healthy increase in the number and value of sales orders placed.”