Managing director Adrian Banks said the company's first 2020 auction of commercial-quality emeralds from 75%-owned Kagem in Zambia, which generated US$11.5 million of revenues from 19 lots sold (of 25 offered) at an average US$4.01 per carat, was in line with previous sales.
"It was however evident that the fallout of Covid-19 - the coronavirus - dampened what might otherwise have been a buoyant result," Banks said.
He said uncertainty around Chinese consumer demand had created negative sentiment in the mid-stream market, while some key auction customers did not travel to Lusaka due to heightened travel risks. "The Hong Kong market - important for both gemstones and jewellery - has [also] had to endure multiple successive misfortunes," Banks said.
Gemfields says Kagem gemstones have generated nearly US$650 million of revenues from 35 auctions since mid-2009.
Gemfields shares (GML) were down 2.4% early today, capitalising the company at US$157.1 million.