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Gemfields to hold 6 auctions in FY'17, sets higher output targets

Gemfields Plc expects demand for its rubies and emeralds to rise in the near future, and plans to hold four emerald and beryl auctions and two mixed quality ruby and corundum auctions in the next fiscal year.

The emerald and beryl auctions will include two high-quality auctions and two commercial-quality auctions, the company said Sept. 26.

The company intends to increase annual production at its Kagem Mining Ltd. operations to 30 million carats to 35 million carats of emerald and beryl, driven by an investment of about US$10 million.

Gemfields also plans to earmark about US$25 million to boost annual output targets at Montepuez Ruby Mining Ltda. to 10 million carats to 12 million carats of ruby and corundum.

In its fiscal 2016, the company produced 10.3 million carats of rough ruby and corundum at Montepuez, up from 8.4 million carats in the prior year.

Production of rough emerald and beryl in the year remained stable at 30.0 million carats, compared to 30.1 million carats in fiscal 2015.

Gemfields' revenue, meanwhile, increased 13% year over year to US$193.1 million, while net profit after tax jumped 91% on a yearly basis to US$23.5 million.

CapEx, excluding deferred stripping, fell to US$12.0 million from US$24.5 million a year ago.