By Michelle Graff
London--Gemfields reported that its recent auction of higher- and medium-quality rough rubies achieved total revenues of $28.8 million and an average per-carat price of $317.92.

The auction, held from Dec. 14 to 18 in Singapore, was 98 percent sold by volume and 95 percent sold by weight.

The sale featured both higher- and medium-quality rough rubies in both untreated and treated form, including larger volumes of smaller size and mid-priced gems offered in “direct response to market feedback which indicated increased demand for rough rubies suited to the production of calibrated cut-and-polished gemstones,” Gemfields said.

Auction clients also had requested larger production runs to improve their manufacturing and make the most of broader distribution networks.

The five auctions held since June 2014 featuring rubies from Montepuez in Mozambique have generated $150.8 million in aggregate revenues. 

As of Sept. 30, total ruby and corundum extracted at Montepuez since the start of the project had hit 17.2 million carats.

In its most recent quarterly production update, Gemfields said that production from Montepuez plummeted in the first quarter ended Sept. 30, with output down 83 percent year-over-year to 500,000 carats. Yet the overall volume of higher-quality rubies recovered during the period rose 96 percent as Gemfields focused on delineating additional areas of higher quality alluvial resources in the area.

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