Photo credit: Gemfields
Coloured gemstone miner Gemfields has suspended its upcoming auctions amid widespread travel restrictions aimed at helping contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The company said its high-quality emerald and mixed-quality ruby auctions originally scheduled for May and June respectively are likely to be postponed to the second half of the year.
Subsequent auctions in November and December may have to be cancelled altogether if the overall situation does not improve.
“Due to the prevailing levels of uncertainty, Gemfields is unable to provide reliable guidance as to when it might be able to host its next auctions,” noted the miner. “Once the travel restrictions are lifted, additional time will clearly be required before life and business returns to a relative normal.”
Some 93 per cent of Gemfields’ revenues in 2019 was derived from six gemstone auctions.
The company also warned of “significant detrimental impact” on its business in 2020. As of March 30, Gemfields has suspended all but critical work at the Kagem emerald mine in Zambia while operations in Mozambique, including the Montepuez Ruby Mine, could also be put on hold. Exploration projects in Madagascar were discontinued.
Gemfields’ offices in London and Jaipur remain closed, with personnel working remotely while Fabergé’s shops and boutiques worldwide were tentatively shut down.