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Gemfields to resume operations at Kagem, Montepuez

03 march 2021
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Image credit: Gemfields


Gemfields says both its 75%-owned Kagem Mining emerald mine in Zambia and 75%-owned Montepuez Ruby Mining (MRM) ruby mine, in Mozambique, are set to restart production this month, albeit in a phased manner.
It said mining operations will only run at full-throttle by the end of next month.
The gemstone miner had suspended less critical operations at Kagem and MRM since March 30, 2020, and April 22, 2020, respectively in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gemfields said MRM’s treatment plant and sorting house – which have already restarted – will reach full capacity by the end of March, while the washing plant at Kagem is projected to restart in mid-March.
“After a grisly 2020 for Gemfields, there is palpable excitement across our worldwide team at the prospect of restarting production this month at our Kagem and MRM Mines,” said company chief executive Sean Gilbertson.
“With the world’s largest emerald and ruby mines producing no gemstones for a year, we look forward to seeing the supply and demand picture play out in 2021.”
He said no ruby auctions were held since December 2019 and there had been no new ruby supply produced by MRM since April 2020.
“The forthcoming auctions represent an important offering for both mid-stream players and jewellers seeking to secure inventory,” said Gilbertson.
Gemfields’ six auctions in 2019 accounted for 93% of total group revenue (about $200 million out of $216 million) with $120 million of revenue derived from two ruby auctions and $80 million derived from four emerald auctions.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished