Gemfields to Explore Gemstones in Sri Lanka

Myanmar jade gemsColombo: Colored gemstone miner, Gemfields Plc formed a joint venture East West Gem Investments Ltd. (EWGI) to explore sapphire and gemstones in Sri Lanka.

Under the agreement, the joint venture will operate through three Sri Lankan subsidiaries. Gemfields will hold a 75 percent stake in the project with EWGI holding the remaining 25 percent stake. Gemfields said it acquired a 75 percent operating interest in 16 exploration licenses of diverse minerals for $400,000.

The company will also establish a gemstone trading company named Ratnapura Lanka Gemstones Pvt. Ltd. with the aim to focus on sourcing rough sapphires from various resources in the local market.

“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,” said Ian Harebottle, the CEO of Gemfields.