British Company Gemfields to Mine Sapphires in Sri Lanka!

A British mining company, Gemfields has announced that it has entered a joint venture with to mine sapphires in Sri Lanka as part of its goal to expand its colored stone business.

The company already has mining operations in Zambia for emeralds and Mozambique for rubies and intends to add the blue sapphires from Sri Lanka to its products.

Gemfields has entered into a joint venture with East West Gem Investments (EWGI) based in Jersey, Channel Islands.

Gemfields has acquired 75% operating interest in 16 exploration licenses, covering a range of minerals, for about $0.4m and under the agreement Jersey-based EWGI will hold 25% of three Sri Lankan-based subsidiaries.

Under the agreement, Gemfields and EWGI will establish a gemstone trading company called Ratnapura Lanka Gemstones, which has already been approved by the Sri Lankan investment promotion agency Board of Investment.

In a statement released on Monday, Gemfields said it aims to utilize its proven exploration and gemstone experience in Sri Lanka, in a bid to replicate the success the company has achieved in its operations in Zambia and Mozambique.

“With revenue-producing emerald and ruby operations in Zambia and Mozambique already in the Gemfields portfolio, the proposed development of sapphire operations in Sri Lanka will realize our stated red, blue and green ‘traffic light’ of colored gemstones strategy,” said group chief executive Ian Harebottle.