Gemfields adds sapphires from Sri Lanka to coloured gemstones portfolio
October 13, 2014: Gemfields has entered into a joint venture with East West Gem Investments Limited, a Jersey registered company, to progress opportunities in the Sri Lankan sapphire and gemstone sector via three Sri Lankan subsidiaries which will be 75 per cent and 25 per cent held by Gemfields and EWGI respectively.
Gemfields has acquired 75 per cent operating interests in 16 exploration licences (covering diverse minerals) for a consideration of USD 0.4 million. The Sri Lankan joint venture seeks to deploy Gemfields’ exploration and gemstone experience to replicate the successes achieved in Zambia and Mozambique, where Gemfields’ approach has brought considerable benefits for both the local population and the regional economy.
The joint venture will also see Gemfields and EWGI establish a gemstone trading company called Ratnapura Lanka Gemstones (Pvt) Ltd, a company approved by the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka. The trading company will focus on sourcing rough sapphires from various sources in the local market.
Ian Harebottle, CEO of Gemfields, said, “We are excited about the possibility of being able to offer a reliable supply of well-graded sapphires to customers attending our auctions, and to ensuring that all gemstone stakeholders in Sri Lanka - including its government and general population - benefit from the value-addition and transparency that the Gemfields approach has already delivered in Zambia and Mozambique.”