Shares in coloured gems miner Gemfields (LON: GEM) (JSE: GML) climbed more than 5% on Friday after it posted record revenue for 2022, exceeding the $300 million mark for the first time.
The Africa-focused emeralds and rubies miner said last year’s revenue hit $341 million, a 32% increase from the almost $258 million recorded in 2021.
“The coloured gemstone market has seen strong demand after the covid-19 pandemic, with prices paid for uncut emeralds and rubies reaching remarkable levels during the first half of 2022,” chief executive Sean Gilbertson said.
Revenue from Gemfields 75%-owned Montepuez ruby mine in Mozambique reached $167 million, a 13% increase on the previous year. Its Kagem emerald mine in Zambia, in which it also has a 75% interest, contributed $147 million to group revenue, after a 62% increase.
The company, which owns Fabergé, said the jewellery brand brought in $18 million in revenue, a 28% increase from 2021.
Gemfields’ Mozambican operations are in the northern Cabo Delgado province, which has seen an Islamic State-linked insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives since it broke out in 2017, disrupting multi-billion-dollar natural gas and mining projects.
Gilbertson noted that operations at Montepuez ruby mine remained stable and uninterrupted, although the company briefly suspended operations an evacuated its Nairobi exploration camp in February, following reports of an insurgency attack nearby.
Employees have started to return to the camp, where Gemfields is exploring for gold.
Gemfields’ shares closed 2.41% up on Friday at $17.41 pence.