by Brecken Branstrator
London–Colored gemstone miner Gemfields is continuing on with its project in Sri Lanka, announcing that it soon will put a call out to local mining companies to see if they want to work together to establish a supply chain in the country.
The company will offer support to Sri Lanka’s gemstone industry through its technical capabilities, proprietary grading systems and marketing methodologies, it said.
Once the chain has been established, the gemstones will be offered to international buyers via Gemfields’ auctions.
Back in September 2014, Gemfields entered into a joint venture with East West Gem Investment Limited in Sri Lanka. The joint venture gave it 75 percent of the operating interests in 16 of East West’s exploration licenses covering a variety of minerals.
Through the agreement, the two companies also established a gemstone trading company called Ratnapura Lanka Gemstones, which is focused on sourcing rough sapphires from various sources in the local market.
“We are pleased to start this next phase of activity in the Sri Lankan gemstone industry,” CEO Ian Harebottle said. “World famous for the quality of gemstones, we are optimistic we will be able to bring our proven expertise to this already-established market for the benefit of local mining communities and the Sri Lankan gemstone industry.”