Assore buys more than 90M shares in Gemfields

The Assore bought, on Wednesday (22), an additional 90,533,595 shares of Gemfields, bringing its stake to 147,947,454 shares. As a result of the operation, the manganese and iron ore company increased its participation in the emerald and ruby mining to 12.74%.

The transaction was made at a premium of 29.5% over Gemfields' closing price of R2.47 per share on September 17.

According to information obtained by the newsroom, "online share price services, including Sharenet, reported two off-market block trades totaling 90 113 595 shares at a price of R3.20 per share on September 17."

Assore paid about R289M for its additional stake, bringing its total investment in the gem mining company to about R477M... The company closed at R2.80 per share on Wednesday (22).

The main investment of Assore, which exited the JSE in May last year, is a 50% stake in Assmang, which it jointly controls with African Rainbow Minerals. Assmang is involved in mining iron ore, manganese and chrome/chromium.

At a price of R3.20 per share, Assore paid about R289 million for its additional stake

"We are very pleased to announce our return to strong operational and financial performance after the Covid-induced horrors of 2020″, Gemfields CEO said. Sean Gilbertson was referring to Gemfields' interim results for the six months ended June 30.

Gilbertson described the results as a testament to half a year's work by the company's teams. In this the reopening of the world's largest emerald and ruby mines, which had not produced any new supplies of gems for a year. This was due to the need to preserve cash in the wake of the pandemic.

"With the mines back in full swing, a much improved cash position, and the sea change in market demand we have witnessed in our recent auctions, we are very excited about the remaining months of 2021," Gilbertson said.

Gemfields is the operator and 75% owner of the Kagem emerald mine in Zambia - considered the largest producing emerald mine in the world - and the Montepuez ruby mine in Mozambique - one of the most significant recently discovered ruby deposits in the world.

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