LONDON, London-based mining company Gemfields has announced that an auction in Singapore of rough rubies from its mine in the northern Mozambican district of Montepuez has raised 54.8 million US dollars.

The company has now held eight auctions of Montepuez rubies since June 2014, which have generated more than 280 million USD in total and its chief executive, Ian Harebottle, said: “We are thrilled with the results of Gemfields’ eighth Montepuez ruby auction. Achieving revenues of 54.8 million dollars is an all-time high for any Gemfields auction and a pleasingly 24 per cent increase to our prior auction revenue record.”

He added that the prices achieved at this auction, combined with the high percentage of goods sold, highlighted the company’s belief in the ongoing increase in demand for responsibly sourced Mozambican rubies across key markets and jewellery categories. “The response received from our customers was very encouraging and they share our excitement about the future potential for the ruby industry, said Harebottle.

The company stressed that all the proceeds from the auction would be repatriated to Mozambique, with royalties and taxes being paid to the government.

Gemfields holds 75 per cent of the equity in Montepuez Ruby Mining Ltd, with the other 25 per cent owned by the Mozambican company, Mwiriti. It promotes itself as the world’s leading supplier of responsibly extracted coloured gems.

It has specialised in Zambian emeralds and amethysts but has branched out into Mozambican rubies and is currently the target of an attempted takeover by the Chinese company, Fosun, which has made a bid worth 224 million pounds sterling (about 285 million dollars).