Hot 100 2015 BUSINESS BIG SHOTS: Ian Harebottle

Ian Harebottle, chief executive officer, Gemfields.

“I have always believed in the adage – ‘success breeds success’ – and the saying has been so true within Gemfields over the past few years,” explains CEO Ian Harebottle.

The last 12 months have been overwhelmingly positive for the global mining giant, including the successful completion of its first ruby auctions; the rebirth of Fabergé; and the active role of its brand ambassador, actress Mila Kunis.

In just three and a half years Ian and his team have managed to turn a 75% stake in the Montepuez ruby mine in Northern Mozambique into a booming supplier of high quality, well-graded and responsibility sourced rubies — something almost unheard of in the large scale mining world. Ian notes: “I have no doubt at all as to the incredibly positive impact that this, coupled with our already well received emerald and amethyst production, is going to have on the world’s jewellery markets.”

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With its leading knowledge of gemstones and mining expertise, Gemfields has forged ahead with its exploration activities searching for fresh resources of coloured gemstones across the globe. Ian explains: “The efficiency of our mining operations have allowed us to continue to cut unit production costs while at the same time increasing our levels of employment and output volumes. We continue to lead and interact with various international institutions as we seek to re-position coloured gemstones at the pinnacle of the luxury pyramid.”

As a natural optimist, Ian believes this is just the beginning of Gemfields’ story and he’s expecting similarly stellar auction results and company growth in the next 12 months. He also remains convinced that his supportive family has helped to foster a positive attitude within Gemfields, remarking: “This has directed the way in which Gemfields treats its employees, our numerous downstream stakeholders, the communities and environment in which we operate and our general value system as a company. I believe it has made Gemfields the company it is today.”


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