Dual-listed Gemfields generated US$31.4M in revenue from a series of five sequential mini auctions from April 15 to 17.
Fifty-nine companies placed bids, with the mini auctions achieving an average value of $115.59 /ct.
The rough emeralds sold at the auction were all extracted, prior to March 2020, from the mining licence held and operated by Kagem Mining, which is 75%-owned by Gemfields and 25% by the Industrial Development Corporation of Zambia.
Ninety-seven percent of the lots on offer and 99% of the carats on offer were sold.
The lots contained a selection of grades that are typically offered at Kagem Mining auctions of higher-quality emeralds.
Selected lots were made available for in-person and private viewings by customers in Tel Aviv, Dubai and Jaipur.
Following the viewings, the auctions took place on an online auction platform specifically adapted for Gemfields and which permitted customers from multiple jurisdictions to participate in a sealed-bid process.
Operations at Kagem were suspended in March 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and remained suspended until March this year to preserve cash during difficult market conditions.
It is expected that mining operations at Kagem will ramp back up to full scale by the end of April.
The proceeds of the mini auctions will be fully repatriated to Kagem in Zambia, with all royalties due to the government of Zambia being paid on the full sales prices achieved at the auction.
“This was Kagem’s highest auction revenue since March 2016 and we were very pleased to see such strong demand and pricing. Because operations were suspended at Kagem in March 2020, the world’s largest emerald mine produced no new emeralds for more than a year.
“Due to the arising supply and demand dynamics, a number of our clients have therefore seen this auction as a vital opportunity to buy emeralds,” Gemfields Products and Sales MD Adrian Banks says.