Gemfields Falls Most in 4 Years on Possible Zambia Gem Sales Ban

Gemfields Plc (GEM), the world’s biggest emerald producer, slumped the most in more than four years in London trading after saying Zambia may ban the sale of the precious stones outside the country.

Gemfields fell as much as 24 percent, the steepest intraday decline since Feb. 3, 2009. Gemfields operates the Kagem emerald mine in Zambia, the world’s biggest.

“Gemfields believes that any outright limitation on selling emeralds in other countries could have the potential to materially constrain Kagem’s revenues,” the company said in a statement today.

Gemfields, which currently sells its emeralds in auctions in Singapore and India, produced 21 million carats of the precious stones at its Kagem mine last year. The company said it has written to Zambia’s minister of mines, energy and water development to request clarifications of the terms of the new measures.

Zambia’s mines minister announced the measures at a press conference on April 5, the company said.

“All those planning to auction their emeralds should do so in Zambia,” Yamfwa Mukanga, mines minister, said at the press conference. “If possible, we would want all gemstones to be sold in the country.”

Gemfields traded 3.75 pence lower at 26 pence by 8:39 a.m. in London.

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Biesheuvel in London at tbiesheuvel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net

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