London-listed Gemfields has generated revenue of $58-million from seven online ruby auctions held during March 15 to April 8.
The average selling price was $171.33/ct.
The 94 lots on offer, of which 89 were sold, comprised rubies mined before April 2020, when the company suspended mining operations at the Montepuez ruby mine, in Mozambique.
The company suspended the operations as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and its related impacts, with operations having remained suspended until March this year to preserve cash during difficult market conditions.
Gemfields expects mining operations at Montepuez to ramp back up to full scale by the end of April.
The mine is 75%-owned by Gemfields and 25% by local partner Mwiriti.
“This auction, made up of seven sequential mini-auctions, has yielded the third highest revenue figure of the fourteen auctions which Montepuez has run since June 2014. We are very encouraged by the strong appetite from our clients and by the prices realised.
“As a result of the fall-out from the Covid-19 pandemic, this auction was also our first since December 2019, meaning we realised no sales at all for some 15 months,” comments Gemfields product and sales MD Adrian Banks.
Owing to the arising supply and demand dynamics, a number of the company’s clients have seen this auction as a vital opportunity to buy rubies, particularly given that Montepuez is only now restarting mining for its next mixed-quality ruby auction, which Gemfields hopes to host later this year.