Mozambique Ruby Mining: Gemfields CEO makes £900k from option sale

Gemfields harebot
Selling out: Ian Harebottle fought the Pallinghurst takeover and his future is unclear

Gemfields (LN:GEM) CEO Ian Harebottle has converted options into shares in the recently-acquired company and made close to £900,000 (US$1.16 million) by selling them, Mining Journal reports.

Harebottle and Gemfields chairman Graham Mascall vociferously fought the takeover by former minority shareholder Pallinghurst Resources (SJ:PGL).

Gemfields,  announced to the stock exchange this week Harebottle had converted options into 3.9 million shares and sold 2.9 million of those at £0.308 per share.  This has netted him £896,000.

This follows Mascall’s sale of 1.5 million shares for £420,000 at the end of June.

Pallinghurst launched its takeover bid in May with its own holding of 47% of Gemfields and family and friends shareholders taking it over 75%.

The Montepuez ruby deposit is located in the northeast of Mozambique in the Cabo Delgado province. Covering approximately 33,600 hectares, it is believed to be the most significant recently discovered ruby deposit in the world.

Gemfields’ first Mozambique ruby auction took place in Singapore in June 2014, and marked a milestone for the global ruby trade. The Gemfields operation offers an opportunity to expand the consumer base for responsibly sourced, consistently graded, and reliably supplied ruby. The US$33.5 million revenue generated by the inaugural auction put the spotlight on the world’s largest ruby deposit, located in Montepuez, Mozambique.

Shareholders were offered 1.91 Pallinghurst shares per Gemfields share to accept the transaction, an offer Harebottle and Mascall called “derisory”.

A cash offer from Chinese major Fosun International (HK:0656) was not enough to break Pallinghurst and its supporters’ resolve.

Gemfields will be pulled from the London Stock Exchange’s AIM board by July 28.

Harebottle has held onto 1 million Gemfields shares, roughly 0.18% of the total shares, and Mascall held 150,000 after his sale.

Gemfields is a world leading supplier of responsibly sourced coloured gemstones, specialising in rubies from Mozambique and emeralds and amethysts from Zambia.

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