Nov 07, 2016 (LBO) – Ratnapura Lanka Gemstones, a subsidiary of Gemfields plc, has announced the shortlisting of preferred suppliers following the call for expressions of interest from licensed mining companies and registered gem dealers in Sri Lanka.
“Through working with these preferred partners, Gemfields intends to establish a supply chain which would help grow the sector and contribute to national economic development through the payment of rightful royalties, taxes and forex,” the company said in a statement.
Selection was based on responsible sourcing credentials and in accordance with Gemfields’ global sourcing policy.
Amongst the companies selected as preferred bidders are; Ashkar Gems, Weslow Gems and Diamonds, Mushan Gems and Lapidary, SGH Gems (Supreme Global Holdings) and Ceylon Facets.
“Sri Lanka is already world-renowned for the quality of its gemstones and we are confident that our proven expertise will augment the established market there, benefiting the local mining community and the Sri Lankan gemstone industry as a whole,” Ian Harebottle, chief executive of Gemfields said.
The company recently called for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from local mining companies with a view to setting up an organized supply chain in the renowned Sri Lankan gemstone industry.
Mubarak, a third-generation gem expert and director of shortlisted company Ashkar Gems, said that it is a pleasure to serve as a supplier to one of the world’s leading gemstone companies.
Director of Weslow Gems and Diamonds, Gamini Wettasinghe from Balangoda, says that local traders will gain a better price for their stones.
“At present the industry is dominated and enjoyed by a limited few and can be unfair to small scale, innocent workers. Establishment of this supply chain will help to improve the foreign exchange of the country and will help to prevent poverty among the smaller players who are engaged in this industry.”