Gemfields plc Raises US$33.5m at Inaugural Auction of Rubies from Mozambique Mine
Gemfields plc, the world’s leading supplier of responsibly sourced coloured gemstones, has raised US$33.5m in Singapore from an inaugural auction of rubies from its new mine in Mozambique.
The auction was held in Singapore from June 12-17, 2014 and comprised high and low quality ruby and corundum extracted by Montepuez Ruby Mining Limitada, in which Gemfields has a 75 percent interest, from the Montepuez ruby deposit in Mozambique.
The availability of rough rubies, via Gemfields’ highly regarded auction platform, generated considerable market excitement, underpinning robust global demand.
A total of 55 companies placed bids. Of the 62 lots offered, 57 were sold, representing approximately 91 per cent of the market value of the lots offered.
In carat terms, the auction saw 2.03 million carats of ruby and corundum placed on offer, of which 1.82 million carats were sold (representing 90 percent by weight), generating gross auction revenues of US$33.5 million.
The auction yielded an overall average value of USD 18.43 per carat. Cumulative costs incurred at Montepuez to date (including acquisition cost, capital expenditure and operating costs) stand at approximately US$34 million in total.
Ian Harebottle, Chief Executive Officer of Gemfields, said: "We are naturally delighted to announce the stellar results of our first auction of rubies and corundum from Montepuez in Mozambique.
“Importantly, the proceeds of this auction will be fully repatriated to Mozambique, to Montepuez Ruby Mining Limitada, in which Gemfields owns 75 percent and with all royalties due to the Government of Mozambique being paid on the full sales price achieved at the auction.”
A considerable number of auction participants were attending a Gemfields auction for the first time.
Most were from or closely associated with Thailand, which has a deep and long-standing relationship with the ruby trade.
In an important development for the coloured gemstone industry as a whole, buyers from various other locations, including New York, Jaipur, Germany and Israel (many of whom have previously attended Gemfields’ emerald auctions), featured significantly at the Singapore ruby auction.
AIM-listed Gemfields announced the proposed acquisition of a 75 percent interest in the Montepuez ruby deposit on June 8, 2011. Completion of the acquisition, together with the issuance of 25-year licences, was announced on February 27, 2012.
The extraction of ruby and corundum as part of the ongoing bulk-sampling program began in November 2012.
At March 31, 2014, when Gemfields last provided a quarterly production update, total ruby and corundum extracted at Montepuez since the commencement of bulk sampling stood at 8.2 million carats.
Ericsson Private 5G to transform secure on-site connectivity
Ericsson has launched Ericsson Private 5G. It offers secure and simple 4G LTE and 5G Standalone (SA) connectivity primarily targeting manufacturing, mining and process industries, offshore and power utilities, as well as ports and airports.
Ericsson Private 5G optimizes and simplifies business operations with cloud-based network management, keeps sensitive data on-premise, has zero downtime upgrades and guarantees high performance through Service-Level Agreements (SLAs).
It is easily installed within hours at any facility and can be scaled to support larger coverage areas, more devices and higher capacity when needed. The product is designed to be flexible and will support a range of deployment sizes, depending on requirements, to suit varied needs. Businesses can manage their networks and integrate with IT/OT systems via an open API.
Ericsson Private 5G builds upon Ericsson’s 4G/5G radio and dual mode core technology, enabling a wide variety of use cases for both indoor and outdoor environments while integrating well with business operations, devices and applications. As a result, companies can improve productivity, give their customers more value and provide better working environments for employees.
Innovative use cases include tracking assets and real-time automation to improve productivity in warehouses, and a digital twin that can help to optimize manufacturing operations. Efficient quality inspections can also be performed via augmented reality or smart surveillance drones to increase worker safety, particularly in potentially hazardous environments such as ports and mines.
Ericsson already has a significant track record of operational 4G and 5G private network deployments with customers worldwide. Ericsson Private 5G builds on the success of that solution portfolio and deployment insights, as well as insights from projects such as 5G-Industry Campus Europe.
Peter Burman, Program Manager Mine Automation, at Swedish mining company Boliden, commented: “Automation, and safety through automation in our mining operations is an absolute must for us. Ericsson Private 5G is exactly what Boliden needs to bring high quality, fast and secure connectivity into potentially hazardous environments allowing us to mobilize efficiency and safety improving use cases.
Niels König, Coordinator 5G-Industry Campus Europe, Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT added: “Private 5G networks are highly attractive for producing companies because of the uncompromised performance that 5G can bring, allowing them to tackle the challenges of production. Efficiently deploying and using network solutions in enterprises requires simplicity in installation, flexibility in connecting to existing production IT and lean operations while at the same time being able to scale the network to meet future challenges. Ericsson Private 5G delivers exactly these capabilities.”
Leo Gergs, Senior Analyst, ABI Research, noted: “With this new offering, Ericsson will be able to address key trends in the enterprise cellular market. The value proposition will appeal to operators and service providers as the solution hides technology complexity and therefore reduces the barrier of entry to deployment for many different flavors of enterprise networks.”
Thomas Noren, Head of Dedicated Networks, Business Area Technologies and New Businesses, Ericsson, revealed: “With Ericsson Private 5G, we take the best of Ericsson’s current portfolio and top it up with the best of our new technology. We do this to give businesses what they need to improve productivity, enable new offerings and give employees a better working environment. With Ericsson Private 5G, we also give operators a better way to serve business customers and leverage their assets - in short, to grow beyond mobile broadband.”
Ericsson recently joined a three-year initiative to develop autonomous, carbon-neutral mining processes supported by 5G connectivity. Funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, the $16mn Next-Generation Carbon-Neutral Pilots for Smart Intelligent Mining Systems (NEXGEN SIMS) project is being coordinated by Swedish mining and infrastructure equipment manufacturer, Epiroc, in cooperation with a range of industry-diverse partners, including: Ericsson, K+S, Boliden, Agnico Eagle Finland, KGHM Polska and Luleå University of Technology.