Gemfields plc, the world’s largest producer of coloured gemstones, has announced that it has entered into binding agreements to acquire controlling interests in two emerald projects with operations and prospects located predominantly in the Boyacá state in Colombia.
Ian Harebottle, CEO of Gemfields, commented: “Gemfields is delighted to announce its entry into Colombia, home to some of history’s most legendary emerald mines and a country with tremendous potential. The proposed acquisitions will require further work and additional exploration before any meaningful production commences but they are clearly in line with our strategy of expanding Gemfields’ global footprint in a considered yet cautious fashion. The acquisitions offer exciting green- and brownfield growth opportunities over the medium to longer term.
“Transparency, responsibility, marketing, collaboration and teamwork have been key tenets of what Gemfields has been able to deliver within the Zambian emerald sector, and more recently with our ruby deposit in Mozambique.
“We look forward to completing the acquisitions and in turn working with our new partners and stakeholders in the Colombian emerald sector, including the Colombian Government and other mining operations, in growing and promoting the Colombian emerald industry for the benefit of all.”
Gemfields has acquired a 70% interest in the Coscuez emerald mine in Boyacá Department, Colombia, which covers an area of 47 hectares. The mine is of historical significance in emerald mining, having been in operation for over 25 years and known to have produced some of Colombia’s finest emeralds. The transaction will cost Gemfields in the region of USD 15 million, while its second acquisition will cost USD 7.5 million.