Mozambique Mining: Gemfields leadership out after takeover – Sean Gilbertson appointed new CEO

Rubies gemfields-mozambique-mine-to-yield-rubies-for-over-20-years
Rubies in Montepuez, north Mozambique

Gemfields’ new owner, Pallinghurst Resources, has appointed Sean Gilbertson as Gemfields CEO and Kartikeya Parikshya to supervise ruby mine’s operation in Mozambique, following the resignation of the miner’s senior executives.


Sean Gilbertson Gemfields' new CEO
Sean Gilbertson Gemfields’ new CEO

Gilbertson was a long-serving Gemfields executive board member, who was recently appointed executive director of Pallinghurst (pictured).


Former Gemfields CEO Ian Harebottle and chief financial officer Janet Boyce resigned following the takeover, as did the company’s non-executive directors, Pallinghurst said. The acquisition by the private-equity group resulted in Gemfields getting delisted on July 28 and becoming a subsidiary of Pallinghurst, which expects to own the miner outright by the end of this month.

Pallinghurst chairman Brian Gilbertson has taken on the Gemfields chairmanship, and David Lovett, a longstanding member of Gemfields’ finance team, has been appointed CFO. Adrian Banks, Gemfields’ product director in charge of grading, sorting and auctioning emeralds and rubies, has joined the company’s board. CV Suresh, who ran the Kagem mine from 2007 to 2015, has also become a board member, taking on responsibility for Gemfields’ Zambian assets.

The man who once slept in a light aircraft on a village road in Mozambique 

Sean Gilbertson graduated as a mining engineer from Wits University in South Africa having spent time in the country’s deep-level gold and platinum mines.

He worked as project financier for Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt and London specialising in independent power projects and public/private partnerships.

In 1998, he co-founded globalCOAL, a company that played a central role in the commoditisation of the thermal coal industry, and was appointed CEO in 2001 when the business was acquired by industry players including Anglo American plc, BHP-Billiton plc, Glencore International AG and Rio Tinto plc. He was also co-founder of the pioneering Spectron eMetals trading platform for category I and II members of the London Metals Exchange.

Sean is a founding partner of the Pallinghurst Group, a Director and Chief Executive of Fabergé Limited, and was previously  an Executive Director of Gemfields plc.

An avid cyclist, Sean also has a passion for gemstones and the great outdoors. Always up for an adventure, he once slept in a light aircraft on a village road in Mozambique whilst looking for gemstone mines.

Board and management appointments

The board and management of Gemfields have now been reconstituted as follows:

Adrian Banks, who joined the company in 2009 and serves as the group’s product director responsible for grading, sorting and auctioning of its emerald and ruby production, has joined the board and will continue to bring his unique skill set and experience to bear in optimising the sale of rough gemstones.

CV Suresh, who joined Gemfields in 2006 and ran the Kagem emerald mine prosperously from 2007 until 2015, has joined the Gemfields board, taking overall responsibility for its Zambian assets, including the Kagem emerald mine.

David Lovett, who joined Gemfields’ finance team in 2008, has been appointed as CFO and joins the board. Lovett has acted as a senior financial manager across a number of operating subsidiaries during his nine-year tenure and has a thorough understanding of the group’s activities, including Fabergé.

Kartikeya Parikshya
Kartikeya Parikshya. Linkedin

Kartikeya Parikshya, one of the world’s leading gemstone geologists and who joined Gemfields in 2004, has joined the board and assumes responsibility for Mozambican and Ethiopian operations, including the Montepuez ruby mine.

Long-term Gemfields executive board member Sean Gilbertson has been appointed CEO of Gemfields. Gilbertson is the longest serving executive director of of the company and played a pivotal role in the acquisition and redevelopment of Kagem, as well as in the rebirth of Fabergé.

In addition, Brian Gilbertson and Arne H. Frandsen have joined the board of Gemfields as chairman and deputy chairman respectively. Frandsen will also be joining the boards of Kagem Mining and Montepuez Ruby Mining Limitada.

An updated development plan for Gemfields

A thorough review and analysis of the operations, including processes, plans, budgets and financial position is underway. The outcome of this analysis will form the basis for an updated development plan for the company.

Gemfields’ debt is currently at record levels, caused in large measure by a material drop in emerald production at Kagem and resulting in a US$54 million year-on-year decline in Kagem’s auction revenues for the year ending 30 June 2017.

The advisory and break fees, incurred by the previous board in opposing the Pallinghurst offer, and totalling approximately $7 million, have further exacerbated present challenges.

Pallinghurst Resources intends to report the findings of its strategic review to its board by mid-September, and will engage with shareholders shortly thereafter.

“Gemfields is a uniquely attractive business with strong growth potential. We intend to focus on profitability in pursuit of the vision of building the “De Beers of coloured gemstones,” says Pallinghurst Resources chairman, Brian Gilbertson.

“I am privileged to take up the post of CEO and look forward immensely to working with the unique, loyal and talented team in furthering our position as the global leader in precious coloured gemstones,” states Gemfields CEO, Sean Gilbertson.

“The new board, dominated by veterans covering all disciplines, reflects our desire to focus on enhancing the operations, processes and core activities of the group”.(Source: )

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