Gemfields announced it had realised revenue of $22.4 million at its auction of higher quality emeralds held in Singapore from May 14 to 17. The company said the price translates to an average $71.85 per carat — an all time record for Gemfields auctions. The top lot sold also set an all-time per-carat price record.
The emeralds were from the Kagem mine in Zambia, in which Gemfileds holds a 75 percent stake, with the Zambian government holding the remainder. The 32 auctions of the rough emeralds from the mine that have been held since 2009 have generated an aggregate $589 million.
Gemfields said 45 companies participated in the auction, which saw 28 of the 35 lots on offer being sold. In terms of carats, the company said the auction saw 72 percent of the goods offered being sold.
Gemfields Managing Director of Product & Sales Adrian Banks commented, “As the results of this auction show, we continue to see encouraging signs of recovery in the emerald sector. We congratulate Chatree Gems of Thailand who won three lots including the top lot comprising two exceptional gems weighing a total of 62 carats, which set a new record price per carat for Zambian rough emeralds at a Gemfields auction.”
Banks added, “The biggest issue Kagem presently faces is the 15 percent Zambian export duty imposed on emeralds since January 1 this year. When combined with the pre‐existing 6 percent mineral royalty tax, Zambian emerald exporters must now pay an effective 21 percent turnover tax on their revenues. By contrast, the world’s second and third largest emerald exporters, Colombia and Brazil, levy 2.5 percent and 2 percent respectively, bringing about a watershed shift in tactical advantage.”
He went on to say, “While the 15 percent export duty shuts the door on foreign investors and new entrants interested in the Zambian emerald sector, the financial impact is being acutely felt by incumbent producers like Kagem. We continue to liaise with the key government departments in seeking resolution and remain hopeful that a solution will be found.”