Gemfields give update on Absa Group debt

Gemfields has revealed its cash and cash equivalents by year-end which is  $97.7-million, with $34.7-million of outstanding debt with the Absa Group, resulting in a net cash position of $63-million. The net cash position excludes the outstanding balance of auction receivables of $54.5-million at December 31, 2021.

Gemstone miner Gemfields reports that by December 31, its 75%-owned Zambia-based Kagem emerald mine had produced 32.01-million carats for the year, at an average grade of 191 ct/t and ore throughput of 12.38-million tonnes, compared with the 9.38-million carats, 202 ct/t and 46.4-million tonnes achieved, respectively, in 2020.

For the year, the Kagem mine’s expenditure on plant, property and equipment reached $2.27-million, and cash operating costs $32.83-million – compared with $407 000 and $21.22-million, respectively, for 2020.

Online auctions held during March and April 2021 resulted in the sale 270 000 ct of Kagem emeralds for $31.4-million; while online auctions during July and August netted $23.1-million from the sale of 3.5-million carats. This resulted from an average carat value of $115.59/ct and $6.61/ct, respectively.

For online auctions held during November and December, 250 000 ct of Kagem emeralds were sold for $37.78-million. This resulted from an average value of $150.65/ct.

Gemfields’ 75%-owned Mozambique-based Montepuez ruby mine produced 3.29-million carats of rubies in 2021, at an average grade of 3 ct/t and ore throughput of 739.89-million tonnes.

This compares with the 1.25-million carats produced in 2020 at an average grade of 4 ct/t.

The Montepuez mine had expenditure on plant, property and equipment of $4.56-million and cash operating costs of $31.16-million – compared with $3.86-million and $20.78-million, respectively, in 2020.

For online auctions held during March and April, the sale of 340 000 ct of Montepuez rubies resulted in $58.9-million in revenue for Gemfields; while auctions held during November and December resulted in the sale of 670 000 ct of Montepuez rubies for $88.4-million. This resulted from an average carat value of $171.33/ct and $132.47/ct, respectively.

In terms of the performance of Gemfields luxury brand Fabergé, 2 757 items were sold in 2021 (up from 1 686 pieces sold in 2020) through 1 284 transactions (up from 847 transactions in 2020).

This resulted in $8.13-million in total cash operating costs for Fabergé in 2021 – down from the costs of $7.49-million in 2020.

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