Gemfields reported that ruby and corundum production from its Montepuez mine in Mozambique was up 23 percent in the fiscal year ended June 30, with a 68 percent increase in the volume of higher quality stones uncovered.

London--Gemstone miner Gemfields saw varying results from its two major mining projects during its recently concluded fiscal year.

In the full year ended June 30, emerald and beryl production at the Kagem in Zambia was essentially flat at 30 million carats. The average grade was 241 carats per ton, again about equal to last year’s, while total operating costs rose 6 percent to $47.3 million.

During the fiscal year, Gemfields held four rough emerald and beryl auctions, totaling $101.3 million at an overall average of $12.22 per carat. Its latest emerald auction, held in Jaipur, India in May, generated revenues of $14.3 million and an average value of $5.15 per carat, setting a record average price for commercial quality emerald and beryl.

Gemfields is slated to hold its next emerald auction in September in Jaipur.

Production of ruby and corundum at the Montepuez mine in Mozambique during the 12-month period rose from 8.4 million to 10.3 million carats, exceeding the company’s initial guidance of 8 million carats, with a 68 percent increase in the volume of higher quality rubies recovered.

The average grade was up from 26 carats per ton to 35 carats per ton on the greater proportion of higher grade amphibolite ore being processed during the period. Total operating costs increased 21 percent to $26.2 million as the company ramped up exploration and mining activity.

The company’s two ruby and corundum auctions held during the fiscal year totaled $73.1 million in revenue with per-carat average of $45.50. Its next is scheduled for December in Singapore.

Gemfields said it plans to expand both of these projects.

Last month, the company secured three $15 million loans to aid its growth and expansion plans to increase annual production at Montepuez to approximately 20 million carats within the next three years. These loans join an existing revolving credit facility of $30 million to help expand Kagem production to more than 40 million carats.

For Fabergé, full-year results indicated that the value of sales orders agreed (those that Faberge has agreed and confirmed with customers) were down 10 percent year-over-year as no high value objets d’art were sold this year.

This was also the main reason behind the decline in the average selling price per piece, which was down 34 percent. The number of sales transactions, however, was up 46 percent, reflecting “a positive consumer response” to its shift in the average price points for products on display.

The colored stone miner also provided updates on a number of projects it has in the works.

Gemfields has continued with its preemptive exploration and mine planning exercises in preparation for completion of the Coscuez transaction (the emerald mine in the Boyacá state of Colombia it acquired last fall) and as base-level arrangements for future operations.

The mining company has had several meetings with the Ministry of Mines and the National Mining Agency about pending issues in the deal, and completion of the transaction was extended by another three months to September.

Gemfields has completed the necessary geological and geophysical exploration for diverse minerals in selected areas across the licenses it has in Sri Lanka, where it intends to mine sapphires.

The company also has finished initial steps to set up an in-house gemological laboratory and implemented standard operating procedures for gemstone authentication.

Trading operations there are slated to begin in the second quarter of financial year 2016-2017.

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