Gemfields Group has announced that both its 75% owned Kagem Mining Limited (Kagem) emerald mine and 75% owned Montepuez Ruby Mining Limitada (MRM) ruby mine are set to restart production in a phased manner during March 2021, with mining operations ramping up to full-scale by the end of April 2021.
It is expected that MRM’s treatment plant and sorting house – which have already restarted – will reach full capacity by the end of March 2021, while the washing plant at Kagem is projected to restart in mid-March 2021.
As a result of the assorted cash saving measures implemented by the Group in response to the impact of Covid-19, all but critical operations at Kagem and MRM were suspended since 30 March 2020 and 22 April 2020, respectively.
Due to the widespread ongoing restrictions arising from the pandemic, Gemfields will continue with its Interim Auction Model in the near term in respect of both emeralds and rubies. Auctions of emeralds and rubies, using the Interim Auction Model, are scheduled to commence on 15 March 2021.
The series of 7 ruby auctions is expected to complete on 8 April 2021 and the series of 5 emerald auctions is expected to complete on 17 April 2021. As part of this programme, selected lots are being made available for in-person and private viewings by customers in Bangkok, Dubai, Jaipur, Singapore and Tel Aviv.
Subject to Covid-19 developments, the Company is hopeful that it will be able to return to a more regular auction format during the fourth quarter of 2021.