Shares in AIM-listed gemstone miner Gemfields tumbled by more than 15% today after it warned that new rules being introduced in Zambia could decimate sales.
The world’s biggest producer of emeralds, which uses actress Mila Kunis, pictured, as the face of its jewellery, said it could be hurt by a possible ban by the Zambian government on selling stones outside the country. Zambia’s President Michael Sata has suggested that all emeralds must be auctioned in his country rather than more lucrative markets such as Singapore and India. Shares fell 4.58p, or 15.4%, to 25.17p.
The company’s main operation, the Kagem emerald mine in northern Zambia, is the single biggest emerald mine in the world. “Such measures are potentially detrimental to the Zambian gemstone sector and would prevent the company from being able to freely sell its gemstones in the markets where it believes it would realise the best prices,” a Gemfields spokesman said.